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BoCom plans to expand business scope

BANK of Communications plans to further diversify its businesses and offer bigger credit support to air carriers and shipping companies as it hopes to play a larger role in Shanghai's development of a financial hub, its Chairman said today.

The Shanghai-based bank hopes to make further achievements in exploring domestic insurance, securities and asset management sectors, Chairman Hu Huaibang said during the Lujiazui Forum.

"Our bank would like to be a pioneer in developing the city into a global financial hub," Hu said. "We have mapped out strategies in line with this concept. We will enhance financial innovation and launch more diversified products."

Hu said that BoCom will set up a special department to provide financial services to shipping companies as the city is also expected to be built into a global shipping center by 2020.

The lender will continue to beef up its strategic cooperation with large Chinese air carriers including China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, Hu said.

BoCom earlier this month signed an agreement to offer a credit line of 15 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) to China Southern Airlines. The two parties will also cooperate in aircraft leasing and financing.

The Shanghai-based lender said in April that it expected net profit to grow this year despite the challenges under the global financial crisis. BoCom's net income only inched up 0.53 percent year on year to 7.94 billion yuan in the first quarter of this year.

Hu added today that BoCom's overseas expansion will center on the Asian markets but it will also tap the United States and European markets to set up a global network.


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