First Sino-Africa banking system launched

By Guo Rui (China Daily Hubei Bureau)
Updated: 2010-10-14 09:36
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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and its participating stock company Standard Bank of South Africa initiated a direct cash management system on Wednesday in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Through the system, Chinese companies can reduce their financial risk by implementing real-time monitoring of the capital flow of their African projects and managing their African bank accounts in China.

China Gezhouba Group Corp and Wuhan Iron and Steel Group became the first two clients of the management platform.

"More than 1,600 Chinese enterprises had registered to do business like infrastructure construction and trade in Africa by the end of 2009. Direct investment value reached 9.33 billion yuan, covering over 80 percent of Africa," said Luo Xi, vice president of ICBC.

In February 2008, China's banking regulator approved ICBC's purchase of a 20 percent stake in South Africa's Standard Bank for $5.6 billion. After the acquisition in 2008, ICBC became the largest single shareholder of the African bank, with 305 million shares of common stock.