INDUSTRIAL and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) formally launched its Qatar operations from the Qatar Financial Centre, at an impressive ceremony at the Sheraton last night.
HE the Minister of Finance and Economy, Yousef Hussein Kamal, ICBC chairman, Jiang Jianqing and QFC Regulatory Authority chairman and CEO, Phillip Thorpe were among those present at the plaque unveiling ceremony.
Jianqing said China’s largest bank would utilise its strengths and experience in its operations from the Qatar Financial Centre. ICBC has a solid client base, advanced IT platform, and diversified products; it maintains a leading position in all its major business areas in China.
“We will fully utilise the advantages of our geographical location, scope of business and clients, and provide clients with long-term, high-quality financial services,” he said.
Jianqing hoped ICBC could contribute to the growing relationship between China and Qatar. In recent years, Qatar and China have witnessed great development in co-operation in economy, trade, energy and other fields, thereby strengthening bilateral ties between both economies.
In 2007, bilateral trade hit $1.21bn, up 21% year-on-year.
“The rapid development in economic and trade relations between the two countries has brought about a pressing need for both sides to deepen financial co-operation, thus providing an excellent opportunity for ICBC to open a branch in Doha,” he said.
Thorpe said ICBC was a significant addition to quality institutions being licensed to operate from the QFC.
“We have always believed in quality and not quantity. This has particular relevance in the context of the current economic crisis. I foresee increased financial sector regulations world over in the wake of global financial difficulties,” he said.
ICBC vice-president Wang Lili introduced ICBC Qatar’s senior executives at the event.
ICBC Doha has been authorised to conduct the financial services listed under Category One, which covers a wide range of financial services, including deposit taking, arranging and providing credit facilities, dealing, managing, advising on and arranging deals in investments and arranging the provision of custody services.
In the first half of 2008, ICBC realised post-tax profits of $9.5bn, making it one of the world’s most profitable banks.
As on June 2008, ICBC extended its business institutions to some 15 countries and regions, with a total of 126 branches and subsidiary banks and established correspondent bank relationship with some 1,360 banks in 122 countries and regions.
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