Bank of China officially acquired an operating permit from the National Bank of Serbia on Tuesday and formed the management, which will contain both Chinese and local representatives. The president of the Executive Board is Liu Xiaofei, and Slavisa Aleksic, a banker with experience in Findomestik and Astra Bank, is a board member.
The president of the Management Board is Chen Hiyayu. Independent board members are Dejan Soskic, former NBS governor and professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, as well as Zeljko Sertic, former minister of economy, now the director of the Development Agency of Serbia. Other members of the Management Board are Jung Gung and Agnes Erdos.
Bank of China will start operating by the end of January at the latest. It is located in New Belgrade, in Zorana Djindjica Street, in the building where the premises of Banca Intesa used to be. This bank, the fifth largest bank in the world, will finance Chinese and Serbian companies in their joint ventures in third markets. The founder of the new bank in the territory of Serbia, Bank of China (Hungary) Ltd, started the procedure of arrival to Serbia on October 19. It submitted a request for acquiring a preliminary permit for operating in Serbia to the National Bank of Serbia through its legal representatives.
The founder's plans were to complete all procedures and the registration before the end of 2016, so that the bank might start operating in early 2017. NBS reached the decision on December 20, 2016.
– It is to be expected that Chinese banks should follow their companies operating in other countries, especially when it comes to large infrastructural jobs, as it's easier to get credits and guarantees, as well as more favorable interest rates, this way – says Djordje Djukic, professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade.
– This is also good for our companies, which work as subcontractors both locally and abroad.
The Chinese are especially interested in cooperation in the area of construction of infrastructure, privatization of state-owned enterprises, mining, energy and tourism. The Chinese companies operating in Serbia will now get a backing, but so will the local companies which acquire Chinese goods and equipment.
As announced by Jorgovanka Tabakovic, governor of NBS, Bank of China will be working with retail clients. Which services and under which conditions are to be offered to Serbian citizens is not yet known. They will be financing companies for a start.