Bank Mandiri Makes History as It Officially Opens China Branch

By webadmin on 08:11 pm Apr 27, 2012
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Dion Bisara

Bank Mandiri, the country’s largest lender by assets, has kicked off its maiden overseas commercial operations in Shanghai, as part of an international expansion plan.

The Jakarta-based bank began full-fledged commercial operations at its Shanghai branch on Friday, following a soft opening in November, as it seeks to take advantage of growing trade between China and Indonesia.

It is the first Indonesian bank to operate in mainland China, which requires foreign lenders to undergo a three-year process before being granted a permit.

Mandiri received a permit last year to operate as a commercial lender, which means that with $48.2 million in assets it has the right to disperse loans — a function that it lacks at its six other branches outside Indonesia.

“We will pioneer and develop cooperation with Chinese companies that are interested in trade and investment in Indonesia, and vice versa,” Zulkifli Zaini, Bank Mandiri’s president director, said in a statement released in Jakarta on Friday.

Zulkifli and other Mandiri directors were in Shanghai for the official introduction. The branch focuses on trade financing and services, project financing and treasury, particularly for Bank Mandiri customers that already have business interests in China.

Zulkifli said he hoped the branch would contribute to the two countries’ target of $80 billion of trade volume in the next three years.

Shares of Bank Mandiri closed unchanged at Rp 7,300 on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Friday.