Through its own initiatives and by establishing a high-level platform for Sino-Russian cooperation, Harbin Bank has done more than any other bank in China to advance the country’s financial ties with Russia.
Harbin Bank has emerged as the primary bank in China that is forging closer financial relationships between the country and Russia, implementing several initiatives to strengthen business links between the two nations.
Harbin Bank together with Sberbank, the largest state-owned bank in Russia, jointly founded the first platform for communication and cooperation between Chinese and Russian financial institutions. Named the “Sino-Russian Financial Council”, it has more participants than any other organization committed to Sino-Russia nancial cooperation, including members at the highest levels across a broad range of financial and economic elds.
The Sino-Russian Financial Council
The Council brings together 68 Chinese and Russian financial institutions, with 32 representative institutions from China and 36 from Russia. The members of the Council span more than 10 different financial sectors, including banks, trusts, funds, insurers, asset-management companies, financing and leasing enterprises, industry associations, rating institutions and consultancies.
Through various activities – including the Sino-Russian Exhibition, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Eastern Economic Forum, Sub-committee of Sino-Russian Prime Ministers’ Meetings Committee on Financial Cooperation, and other national platforms – the Sino-Russia Financial Council has become an emerging power in financial cooperation between the two countries and continues to innovate in terms of bolstering China’s nancial relationship with Russia.
Since its creation, the Council has facilitated many important achievements across the fields of clearing and settlement and of investment and financing. Among these are involvement in four major cross-border nancing transactions, amounting to 13 billion CNY in value, and a credit line that Chinese members have granted to the top Russian banks which exceeds 10 billion CNY.
In total, more than 50 cooperative agreements covering over 10 sectors have been signed through the Council’s work, including deals on interbank financing, clearing and settlement in local currencies, foreign-exchange settlement, foreign-currency banknote transactions, system construction, electronic banking and exchange of personnel.
The Council has thus become a platform for nancial cooperation with signi cant in uence and has the potential to spur additional developments in both countries.
Harbin bank Brings China and Russia Together
In its own right, too, Harbin bank has been a pioneer of Sino-Russia nancial cooperation. Harbin bank was the first bank in China to successfully transact a cross-border RMB loan business with Russia and to conduct China-Russian Interbank syndicated loan business. Harbin bank was also the first bank in China to issue ruble letters of credit, the first listed Chinese bank to receive approval to exchange rubles into RMB, the rst bank to be approved by the National Foreign Exchange Administration to conduct cross-border transportation of rubles, and the rst bank authorized and qualified to authenticate cash rubles.
Harbin Bank, as the leading and agent bank, together with other Chinese banks signed the 10 billion CNY Interbank Syndicated Loan Agreement with Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state economic development bank.
The purpose of these loan funds is to support the vital Sino-Russian cooperation projects that are included in “The Belt and Road Initiative.” This cooperative deal, given its scale and influence, is a cross-border interbank syndication project of the highest significance for both the Chinese and Russian financial industries. It will further promote in-depth financial cooperation, facilitate economic and trade exchange between China and Russia, and accelerate both China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and the progress of Russia’s “Eurasian Union.”