By Grace Maina/ Statement
CfC Stanbic bank has become the first bank in the country to avail the Chinese currency – the yuan at its branches to facilitate trade between Kenya and China.
The first transaction was made this morning by the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Dr Liu Xianfa at an event held at the bank’s headquarters in Chiromo.
Speaking at the occasion, CfC Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Philip Odera said, b“the levels of Chinese investments in Kenya continue to rise and there is need to facilitate cross-border business between the two countries with a unique foreign currency proposition.
The availability of the Yuan currency at CfC Stanbic branches is one such offering and is expected to enhance business operations for Chinese enterprises as well as ease access to funds for Chinese tourists coming into the country.”
In recent years, China has become a major destination for a range of African exports as well as an increasingly significant source of a wide range of manufactured goods imported by many African countries. To this end, the bank is positioning itself to be the financial partner of choice for Chinese investors and Kenyans with business interests in the Asian nation.
Currently, Chinese clients who are customers of CfC enjoy the luxury of a dedicated Chinese Desk, Chinese Yuan account, specific current account charge for Chinese companies, credit limit lines for Chinese companies as well as an easier and more efficient counter-guarantee issuance process.
China was Kenya’s number one trading partner in 2014 and 2015. Although the total imports to Kenya dropped globally between 2014 and 2015, the imports from China increased 21%. The exports from Kenya to China increased 30% and the total trade between China and Kenya increased 21%.
CfC Bank serves a wide range of Chinese clients, including State Owned Enterprises involved in major infrastructure projects such as China Road and Bridge, Sinohydro and China Wu Yi, among others. The bank aims to expand its services to reach business banking and private-owned Chinese companies operating in Kenya.
The bank is a member of the Standard Bank Group which is partly owned by China’s ICBC Bank the world’s largest bank by assets. ICBC is Standard Bank’s largest single shareholder and strategic partner in Africa.
With its local market understanding and ICBC’s knowledge of the Chinese market and Chinese clients, the bank remains the financial partner of choice of cross border trade and business between Kenya and China.