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Middle East and Africa: Best Chinese Bank in the Region for BRI 2017

Agricultural Bank of China

Most of China’s state-owned banks and infrastructure developers have interests in the Middle East and Africa, reflecting the country’s far-reaching investment in the region, whether in Kenya’s nascent mining industry, Ethiopia’s light rail transportation system in Addis Ababa, or through importing Qatari petrochemical products.

China is looking beyond the Middle East and Africa’s extractive industries to identify efficient ways to transport the region’s natural resources into China and beyond. And while Chinese trade will no doubt benefit from extensive infrastructure developments in MEA, countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia will also profit from increased connectivity and development.

One commercial Chinese bank that stands out in the region in terms of BRI projects is the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), particularly because of its work in the United Arabic Emirates. This burgeoning financial hub is growing in importance in the region and beyond.

ABC provides a complete range of products from the UAE, and its Dubai branch, managed by Hou Guifeng, serves as China’s first and currently only renminbi clearing bank in the UAE.

In energy, ABC’s DIFC branch participated in the syndicated loan of the Hassyan Clean Coal Project in Dubai, a 2,400MW ultra-supercritical clean coal power plant.

The development marks the first coal-fired independent power producer project in the Gulf and is the first transaction with the Silk Road Fund as an investor. The deal is also the largest project-financed power deal of the year, with syndication of $2.3 billion.