A signing ceremony was held in Kremlin on 27 May 2003 within the framework of the meeting between Russian President Mr. Putin and Chinese President Mr. Hu Jintao to enter into a credit agreement between Vneshtorgbank and China Construction Bank, important Chinese banking institution.
The agreement was signed by Mr. Andrey Kostin, President and C.E.O., for Vneshtorgbank, and Mr. Enzhao Zhang, President, for China Construction Bank.
Under the Agreement, China Construction Bank will open a US$200 million 10-year credit line for Vneshtorgbank to finance export of Chinese durable goods to Russia under SINOSURE export insurance agency credit guarantees.
This Agreement will open fresh opportunities for more expanded operation by Vneshtorgbank towards long-term financing on favourable international market terms. Projects implementation involving equipment imports from People`s Republic of China will be ensured by Chinese Government support to the export and no Russian Government guarantees will be required.
Nowadays, Vneshtorgbank is the sole Russian bank to have access to major credit opportunities for Russian imports from China in terms ofount and maturity. Last August, within the framework of the Russia-China summit in Shanghai, a similar US$200 million credit agreement was entered into between Vneshtorgbank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, major Chinese banking institution.
In December 2002, in the course of the official visit of the President Putin to the People`s Republic of China, Vneshtorgbank and the Export-Import Bank of China signed in Beijing a similar document establishing a US$100 million credit. Concurrently, within the framework of the summit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Vneshtorgbank and the Bank of China on basic conditions to grant Vneshtorgbank a similar credit line for up to US$200 million.
Vneshtorgbank together with its Chinese partners is engaged in selecting projects for financing within the established lines. At present, in telecommunications only there are Chinese equipment import deals totalled about US$50 million.
The signed Agreement with this Chinese bank makes even more competitive Vneshtorgbank positions in Asia region. By now, Vneshtorgbank obligations are recognised by export insurance agencies and Export-Import banks of all important Russia`s partners in this region such as India, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and others.
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China Construction Bank is a State-owned bank. As of 31 December 2002, the Bank was second in terms of assets and 27th world-wideong Chinese banking institutions. As of 31 December 2001, shareholders` equity of the Bank was about US$14.5 billion and total assets were about US$334 billion.