Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, plans to launch a branch office in China by the end of 2023, Alexander Vedyakhin, the first deputy chairman of Sberbank’s executive board, said on Monday (December 26). “I hope that by the end of 2023 we will be able to open a branch office in China. Usually, it takes one and a half to two years, but we hope that by the end of 2023 we will already have an office in the country,” Vedyakhin said.
He added that the bank is actively communicating with the Central Bank of China on the matter, stating that the Chinese regulator is “very scrupulous and requests a large number of documents.”
Sberbank is already connected to China’s UnionPay payment card system.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said that the Chinese Yuan and the UAE Dirham may become the main alternatives to the US Dollar and Euro in Russia next year. Bilateral trade has boomed to reach about US$160 billion this year with growth at about 32% over 2022.
Sberbank said that the Chinese Yuan may become the “number one currency” in trading on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) in the near future. In 2021, the share of Yuan in trading between Russia and its partners was 3%, but Russia’s largest bank expects it to be 10-12% this year and 20% or more next year.
Russian businesses operating in China, including non-sanctioned companies, have found it difficult to open bank accounts in China due to caution by local banks in being targeted by US secondary sanctions. However, Dezan Shira & Associates, who operate 12 offices in mainland China and assist foreign investors in the country have been able to find viable solutions. For assistance, please contact Maria Kotova at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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