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Bank of China Opens First Branch in Saudi Capital

In a sign of growing cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China, one of the Asian country’s four biggest state-owned banks began its operations in Riyadh.

Bank of China opened its first branch in the Saudi capital to expand the use of the yuan amid a flurry of trade deals between the two countries.

In June, the head of the bank’s team for the launch, Jun Tian, told a section of the press that the bank aims to introduce Chinese currency to the world and hoped yuan would be used in commercial financial transactions between China and Saudi Arabia as well as the entire Arab region.

The bank official said as many Chinese companies are entering the regional markets, using the yuan in their financial dealings with regional partners will further encourage them to invest in the region.

It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia and China sealed 35 investment agreements worth around $30 billion during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Kingdom last December.

According to a Bank of China statement, Saudi Central Bank Gov. Ayman Al-Sayari and Deputy Investment Minister Saleh Ali-Khabti attended the opening ceremony.

The Saudi-listed ACWA Power, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment, Ajlan & Bros Holding Group, and Zhejiang Rongsheng Holding Group signed memorandums of understanding involving “internationalizing” the yuan and green financing with BoC during the opening ceremony, the statement added.

It is the second Chinese bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia after the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China opened its first branch in Riyadh in 2015.

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