21 Jun 2023 09:25

Alfa Bank to open branch in China within 18 months

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) - Alfa Bank, one of Russia's largest lenders plans to open a branch in China within the next year to 18 months, bank head Vladimir Verkhoshinsky said at a meeting with students of the Higher School of Economics.

"We are now working on opening a branch in China. But even before all the recent developments this was not a simple project, and now particularly. I think it could take maybe a year to 19 months," Verkhoshinsky said.

"Our clients have now reoriented themselves in foreign economic payments, foreign economic activities, China foremost. Demand for yuan is huge. Corporations now take loans in yuan, and a third of all yuan loans that companies have received in Russia were issued by Alfa Bank, so we're working in this direction," Verkhoshinsky said.

At the moment, the only Russian bank with a financial license to conduct banking operations in China is state bank VTB , which opened a branch in the country in 2008.

Sberbank expects to open a branch in China at the end of 2023, the leading Russian lender's first deputy CEO, Alexander Vedyakhin said last December.