Egypt’s National Bank applies for Yuan licence

National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the country’s largest state bank, is seeking a licence to conduct local-currency banking in mainland China, through its Shanghai branch.

NBE would be the first Egyptian, Arab, and African bank to join a growing list of foreign banks seeking to beef up yuan-related services amid increasing use of the currency in international transactions.

In a statement released Wednesday, NBE said it expects getting the yuan licence by the end of 2016, in a move that would open up new horizons for the deeply-rooted cooperation between China, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East region.

NBE’s first presence in China dates back to 1999, when the bank incorporated its representative office in Shanghai, the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub.

Eight years later in line with a significant increase in Egypt-China trade exchange, which jumped to US$7.4 billion in 2007 from US$800 million in 1999, the bank decided to turn its Shanghai representative office into an operative branch offering various banking service.

In 2007, NBE’s Shanghai branch has become the first Egyptian, Arab, and African branch inaugurated in China to perform a pivotal role in facilitating commercial and investment cooperation among Egypt, China and the Middle East and African countries.

In 2007, NBE has become the first Egyptian, Arab, and African bank to inaugurate a branch in China. Since then, NBE’s Shanghai branch has been playing a pivotal role in facilitating commercial and investment cooperation among Egypt, China and the Middle East and African countries. It has contributed to boost the intra trade activities between Egypt and China, which eventually led to an increase in the bilateral trade exchange that surpassed US$11 billion by the end of 2015.

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