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ICBC Luxembourg Branch Launching RMB Clearing Bank Service

ICBC Luxembourg Branch has inaugurated its ceremony as RMB clearing bank in Luxembourg on 4th December, following the designation as official RMB clearing bank in Luxembourg by the People’s Bank of China in September. With the RMB clearing bank services, banks in Luxembourg and other regions in the world can conduct RMB transactions via account opened in ICBC Luxembourg Branch and benefit from the increased efficiency and facilities of the international usage of RMB.

“After the launching, with the guarantees and full support from parent bank as well as the advanced and integrated global payment system, ICBC Luxembourg Branch will take the geographic advantage of Luxembourg, strictly fulfill the obligations to the regulatory rules under the direction of supervisory authorities of both China and Luxembourg, and commit to providing safe, premium and efficient RMB clearing service to its customers. Meanwhile, ICBC will constantly enrich and provide comprehensive and innovative RMB products relying on its preponderant advantages in business, network and services, which will also make contribution to further boosting bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and Europe, and make the RMB business more developed in the future”, said Mr. JIANG Jianqing, the chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China during the ceremony.

Luxembourg, as a renowned international financial center and one of major partner for China in EU, is an important hub for Sino-EU trade logistics and the main recipient of Chinese ODI. Since large volume of trade and investment fund flow back and forth into Europe via Luxembourg, the RMB business market of Luxembourg could leverage the whole Europe, which makes Luxembourg one of the most important off-shore RMB business Centers. The statistics shows that Luxembourg has the largest pool of RMB in the Eurozone, with 67.2 billion yuan in deposits and 72.8 billion yuan in loans until the end of the first half year of 2014. Luxembourg is also the major center for RMB investment funds and RMB bonds in Europe, with the funds investing in RMB denominated assets reaching 238.3 billion yuan, while the RMB bonds rising up to 28.3 billion yuan in the end of the first half year.

As the world’s largest RMB bank, ICBC was devoted to developing the cross-border RMB business to overseas markets in recent years. In terms of funding strength, ICBC RMB total asset and settlement business volume rank steadily no. 1 in the world, which can provide adequate RMB financing funds and competitive market interest rates. Relying on advanced technology support system, ICBC is the first Chinese commercial bank to implement centralized system for both domestic and overseas RMB business via real-time centralized clearing system for collection, settlement, clearing as well as local for foreign currency centralized clearing; it links up all branches operating all over the world via the centralized system for real-time credit of funds transfers, offering convenient, fast and efficient settlement services. This allows ICBC to lay a foundation for building a global RMB clearing bank. Up to now, ICBC has already extended its operations in 41 countries and regions with 330 institutions. Since year 2009 when the cross-border RMB settlement pilot scheme launched, ICBC leveraged on its global network aggressively promoted the usage of cross-border RMB, with 7 trillion business amount in total and 524 cross-border RMB clearing account. The cross-border RMB clearing system has covered 76 countries and regions around the world.

ICBC Luxembourg Branch has been playing a significant role in the offshore RMB business market of Luxembourg through constantly optimizing the RMB service, and providing various RMB products such as RMB accounting & clearing, RMB loan, RMB trade finance, RMB derivative, RMB global cash & asset management, bond market service, etc. ICBC is not only the first European registered bank entering the China inter-bank bond market, but also the first Chinese bank tapping European investment fund industry. Recently, ICBC (Europe) S.A., an operating institution based in Luxembourg that shares the same team of ICBC Luxembourg Branch, has launched its first UCITS (Undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities). It is the actively managed “China Concept” investment fund distributed to the European investors and will mainly invest into China inter-bank bond market, which connected both onshore and offshore RMB markets and successfully making the RMB usage more effective.