Bank of China boosts support for Belt and Road Initiative (China Daily)

Bank of China Ltd will step up efforts to support the Belt and Road Initiative by further expanding its global footprint and extending more credit to relevant projects.

The nation’s fourth largest lender by assets announced on Thursday that it will launch or upgrade offices in India, Myanmar, Czech Republic, Mongolia and Turkey within this year.

It will also open more branches in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, including Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.

The Belt and Road Initiative connects Asia, Europe and Africa and passes through more than 60 countries and regions with a population of about 4.4 billion.

As of June 30, the Bank of China had established branches in 16 countries and had been involved in 300 major overseas projects worth $250 billion.

In the first half of the year, BOC extended credit of nearly $10 billion to countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.

“Our target is to extend credit of no less than $20 billion this year to projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative and a total of $100 billion in the next three years,” Huang Danggui, general manager of the bank’s corporate banking department, said.

BOC has made great efforts to promote a wider use of the yuan in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt as Chinese companies go global. On June 24, it raised $4 billion from offshore bond markets for the Belt and Road Initiative.