February 26, 2008 saw the opening ceremony of VTB Bank Branch in Shanghai, China.
VTB is the first Russian financial institution to receive a banking license in China thanks to its extensive experience in cooperation with Chinese banks and its leading position in servicing foreign trade between Russia and the PRC. VTB appeared in the PRC with a representative office in Beijing some 20 years ago.
VTB has traditionally been cooperating with the largest public-private joint stock banks of the PRC: the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Import-Export Bank of China, as well as the Bank of Communications, CITIC Industrial Bank, China Merchants Bank, China Everbright Bank, the PRC United Payment System UnionPay, etc.
VTB has signed agreements with a number of the largest banks of the PRC to finance the purchase by Russian importers of Chinese durables and services insured by Sinosurе, the China export and credit insurance corporation. These agreements provide Russian clients of VTB with an opportunity to use the financing of Chinese banks for import transactions worth up to USD 1.3 billion.
At the same time China Development Bank opened a USD 500 million credit line for VTB to finance shipments of Russian goods to the PRC.
Within the framework of the Agreement on interbank settlements in border trade signed by the Central Banks of the two countries, VTB is also actively participating in the development of border trade interbank settlements in both hard currencies, and the national currencies involved. VTB signed relevant agreements on bilateral correspondent accounts with the largest banks of China providing for direct settlement between parent banks and their subsidiaries all across Russia and the PRC.
Today, VTB does not only actively participate in the development of foreign trade relationships between the two countries, but also contributes to the development of a range of retail services offered to households, including extension of VTB partnership with UnionPay, the PRC united payment system, in provision of cashless settlements of Russian and Chinese citizens. The Agreement on acquiring has already allowed Union Pay cardholders to use any VTB cash dispenser. VTB Group will also consider the issue of issuing credit cards of this system to offer its clients additional facilities while traveling in the PRC.
VTB Branch in Shanghai shall provide for large cooperation projects, the optimum structuring of transactions for the two countries' companies, and guarantees of mutual trans-border investments. It also gives Russian businesses in the PRC an opportunity to use the services of the largest Russian banking group, and facilitates access to the Russian market for large Chinese enterprises due to VTB's financial instruments, services and extensive working experience in both Russia and the PRC.
VTB Branch in Shanghai is expected to carry out almost all banking transactions in foreign currencies both for residents and non-residents, i.e. for Russian and Chinese clients. It will mainly focus on large corporate clients from various industries including heavy engineering, shipbuilding, construction, transport, communications, power engineering, pharmaceutics, light industry, etc.
According to Andrey Kostin, VTB Bank Chairman and CEO, entrance into the banking market of China, one of the world's most rapid-growing and promising economies, will strengthen the leading position of VTB in servicing the largest companies and households of both countries. There is a window of opportunity in assisting the development of foreign economic cooperation, as well as in attracting long-term investments for our clients' needs. Andrey Kostin believes that the Branch's activity will develop as dynamically as China's economy as a whole and thus the Bank could apply for a permission to carry out transactions in Yuans within 3 years after opening the Branch.
Group VTB is the largest international banking group of Russia.
The Group's assets amount to USD80 billion and its equity capital amounts to USD16 billion. Today, VTB brand is represented by its subsidiaries and financial companies in 17 countries of Western Europe, the CIS, Asia and Africa.