Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK) has become the first Chinese financial institution to establish its presence in Brunei by opening a new office in the country.

The bank’s Brunei branch will offer a range of financial services, such as corporate banking, syndicated loan, RMB services, cash management, trade finance, non-bank financial institution and public sector services, and personal banking.

With the opening of the new office, the bank now operates in 49 countries and regions across six continents.

BOC executive vice president Xu Luode said: “The establishment of the Brunei Branch is meaningful and far-reaching. First, it rides on the trend of deepening cooperation between our two countries and will be instrumental in driving further bilateral economic, trade and financial cooperation. Second, it enables BOC Group to extend its service coverage to all ten ASEAN countries with a more comprehensive and convenient suite of financial services to customers in this region.

“Looking forward, BOCHK Brunei Branch will capitalise on its unique characteristics and strengths to serve as an ambassador between our two countries. Leveraging BOC Group’s competitive edges, Brunei Branch will provide customers in Brunei, ASEAN, Asia and around the world with onshore and offshore financial services, especially RMB, trade finance and private banking services. It endeavours to become a mainstream bank in the local market.

“While providing financial services, we will also focus on effective risk control and building up good corporate image. We will strive to become a role model in compliance with the financial regulatory requirements for market practitioners,” Luode added.

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BOCHK deputy CEO Lin Jingzhen said: “BOCHK Brunei Branch is the first overseas institution established under the BOCHK brand. It is an important milestone in BOCHK’s overseas expansion and will facilitate BOCHK’s transformation from a local bank in Hong Kong into a regional bank in Southeast Asia. The year 2017 will mark the centenary of BOC’s presence in Hong Kong.

“Leveraging its profound overseas experience, solid foundation and strong capital position, BOCHK will tap into the opportunities arising from the establishment of the Brunei Branch.

"We will further ride on our strengths in cross-border services to offer comprehensive financial services to corporates in both countries, multinational companies, government and financial institutions, as well as personal customers. We are always here to fully support the business development of the Group’s ASEAN institutions along the Belt and Road,” Jingzhen added.