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Largest Russian Bank Opens 1st China Branch

Largest Russian Bank Opens 1st China Branch


    SHANGHAI -- Venshtorgbank, Russia's biggest bank, opened its first Chinese branch in Shanghai on Tuesday, marking the start of a new era in Sino-Russian finance.

    "China's banking service industry is the fastest-growing and most promising in the world economy. I believe the Shanghai branch will grow as energetically as China's economy," said Andrei Kostin, Venshtorgbank Group (VTB) chairman and president.

    VTB has entered into credit granting agreements with a number of Chinese banks and the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation to provide Russian importers with long-term financing and insurance services when purchasing Chinese goods and services.

    Clients can receive up to US.3 billion in financing from Chinese banks.

    According to Kostin, the Shanghai branch will cooperate with China UnionPay system to provide banking card services to both domestic and Russian clients. It also plans to apply for offering RMB services within three years, and will broaden the business scope of the branch for a larger operating scale "very soon".

    VTB even plans to issue its own union cards in China.

    The lender is the largest international banking group in Russia. It has branches and financial firms in 17 countries, with assets of US billion.

    While it established a Beijing office 20 years ago, VTB is a latecomer to China's lucrative banking sector, now crowded with more than 300 foreign banks.