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Shipping finance center sets sail

THE Bank of China has set up its first shipping finance service center in Shanghai as the city aims to become a major finance and shipping center.

The shipping finance center, under the Shanghai branch of the bank, is on the Bund in Huangpu District - home to the China offices of most top global shipping companies.

"We set up the center on the Bund to get closer to the needs of shipping companies," said Dong Weijian, president of the Shanghai branch of the Beijing-based bank. "We will also reach more overseas shipping companies with our broad network overseas."

China's shipping finance services are still at an early stage of development.

"We hope we, as industry players, can introduce more global practices and shipping companies' needs to the bank with the set-up of the center," said Jeff Xu, vice president and chief finance office of ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (China) Co. Xu said Chinese banks should offer financial services to overseas shipping players with a broader range of products. The Bank of Communications has also set up a business line for shipping finance. More banks are expected to tap the market.

The State Council made guidelines for Shanghai to emerge as an international financial and shipping hub by 2020.

Shipping finance, including banking and insurance services, are expected to do well against that backdrop.


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