Habib Bank Limited creates history by becoming the first bank from Pakistan and one of the three banks from South Asia and the MENA region to offer end-to-end intermediation for the Chinese currency Renminbi (RMB).
The HBL Urumqi branch formally commenced the RMB business last week on 7 November 2019 after gaining all regulatory approvals.
With the beginning of RMB clearing capability, the HBL Urumqi branch will provide clearing to HBL branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates.
Habib Bank is now placed to take a leading role in the regional RMB trade, remittance and investment flows.
This unmatched position will further strengthen HBL’s leadership in Pakistan since HBL Urumqi branch is the only foreign bank branch in Xinjiang province.
HBL has also requested the Chinese Regulators to upgrade its Beijing Representative office to a branch. As per expectations, the license will be obtained in the next 2-3 months subject to regulatory approvals.
A high powered delegation from HBL led by Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman HBL and Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO HBL, formally commenced the Urumqi branch’s RMB operations.
Members of the HBL’s board of directors and senior executives of the bank were also present at the event.
Addressing the achievement, Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman HBL proudly stated:
I am very proud that we are here today. The commencement of the RMB business is a stepping stone and we are very hopeful that in the coming years HBL will have more presence in China.
We have also made an application for a branch in Beijing. We want to be a progressive bank, we want to do what is right for the institution, and for the country. For us that is paramount. We want to be an integral part of the Chinese economy and the country.
There shall be no compromises on compliance, under any circumstances. We will do everything that is right.
I am very hopeful that in the coming years this branch, this foundation can give us the springboard to become a bank of relevance in China in the coming decades.
Commenting on this historic first for a Pakistani bank, Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO HBL said they are very grateful to the regulators in China.
We are doubling up our business in China and it will soon become a second home market for HBL.
For our branch in Urumqi we got the RMB license in the shortest possible time so we are very grateful to the regulators in China.
Currently, our focus is to work in developing the RMB intermediation at our Urumqi branch which has gone live and the establishment of the Beijing Branch.
The Chinese regulators are very supportive of developing market-based capabilities and encouraging financial institutions to provide clients best-of-breed leading-edge products and services while managing systems risks well.
We will continue to monitor the opportunities to expand our footprint in China over time.
This recent development is part of HBL’s fresh efforts to explore, grow and expand in China.
Last week, Bloomberg published that HBL was looking to draw more business under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
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