Pakistan’s premier banking institution, Bank Alfalah has entered into a strategic partnership with prominent Chinese Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), Karachi Branch for cooperation in several areas of banking and finance.
The MoU highlights conceptual framework and guiding principles for cooperation for enhanced financial activities in Pakistan and China and other International locations where each bank may be present. Under the agreement, both the banks have agreed to refer trade finance business to each other. Both the banks will open accounts with each other to facilitate settlement payments. ICBC Karachi will open a rupees account with BAFL and BAFL will reciprocate by opening a Chinese Yen Nostro Account with ICBC.
The MoU also facilitates for mutual corporate lending and project financing. ICBC will give preference to BAFL in referrals of Chinese corporate clients requiring rupee funding in Pakistan and BAFL will prefer Pakistani corporate clients requiring RMB funding in China. The agreement will also provide for joint syndication and project financing of Pakistan’s priority projects.
BAFL and ICBC have also agreed to undertake Treasury related transactions. BAFL role as a primary dealer would provide ICBC with the ability to source Pakistan Government Bonds for ICBC liquidity management needs. ICBC would provide access to BAFL in the international bond markets. Finally, both agree to connect with each other for their foreign exchange transactional requirements.
BAFL & ICBC have also agreed to propose appropriate individual industrial and infrastructure development projects in various sectors of economy of Pakistan including engagement in financing activities, joint studies of technical, economic and financial features of feasibility of projects, providing consultancy services to project investors, joint financing of projects and more. Besides this, both the banks have also agreed to engage in business cooperation in various banking businesses in third country or regions outside the home countries. The banks will also exchange information to enhance mutual cooperation in this regard.
Mr. He Shenghu, CEO, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited-Pakistan Operations said, “The primary focus of ICBC is to support the economic development of Pakistan by fostering a strong partnership with both public and private entities . It is our business foundation to give full financial support to the smooth development of CPEC related projects. We are hopeful that with the signing of this MOU with Bank Alfalah, we are able to make more contributions to the advancement and development of both nations’ relations.”
Sharing his thoughts on this, CEO Bank Alfalah, Mr. Atif Bajwa said: “Bank Alfalah Limited is pleased to strengthen the time-tested friendship between Pakistan and China by entering into partnership with ICBC. This institutional collaboration will add to the shared benefits both the countries enjoy in the areas of banking and finance. The increasing cooperation between Pakistan and China for socio-economic development opens multiple avenues for promoting banking ties. It will not only help finance projects in both the countries but also go on to pave way for promoting investment in both the countries.”