Jan. 8, 2020

Ruojie Li


Ruojie Li

General Manager, Bank of China (BoC) Turkey A.Ş.

“BoC Turkey A.Ş. will continuously endeavor to identify demand and finance eligible large ticket projects in Turkey, particularly in energy and infrastructure.”

How have BoC's operations and strategy in Turkey have changed since the bank began its official operations in 2018?
BoC has been present in Turkey since 2011 through a representative office. After the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, Turkey was defined as an important country by the Chinese government. Looking at the long-term prospective of the Turkish economy, and the improved bilateral relationship between Turkey and China, the bank resolved to invest in Turkey in 2015 to establish an operational agency. BoC Turkey A.Ş., a fully owned subsidiary of BoC Limited, started banking business in Turkey in May 2018. With the start of the subsidiary, the bank plans to increase its credit portfolio in a rapid and healthy manner under a prudential risk management approach. Given the fact that we are still at the beginning phase, we expect a higher annual increase rate in total loan and deposit base on a YoY basis higher than the average level in the local banking industry compared to our peers.

In 1Q2019, BoC Turkey A.Ş. increased its loan portfolio by over 70%. Broadly speaking, what has 2019 represented thus far for the bank's expansion within Turkey?
Since BoC Turkey A.Ş. became operational, BoC has financed more than USD1.1 billion worth of deals within Turkey, demonstrating its commitment to continuous work with local corporate partners. Currently, the bank has adopted a strategy geared toward corporate banking. Its prospective clients include top local corporates, cross-border corporates—especially those with links to China, including their subsidiaries in Turkey—and local financial institutions. In the first year of its operations, BoC Turkey A.Ş. has identified, financed, and facilitated the financing of some eligible large ticket projects in Turkey, particularly in energy, infrastructure, transportation, and banking sectors by utilizing BoC's global network and financial strength.

Looking at BoC Turkey A.Ş.' corporate lending strategy, can you break down the bank's corporate loan portfolio by sector?
Bilateral trade and investment volume between China and Turkey continue to increase. The relationship between China and Turkey has improved in recent years due to great efforts by the two governments. BoC Turkey A.Ş.' main drive is to support the cooperation of trade, investment, and finance between the two countries while contributing to the realization of China's BRI and Turkey's Middle Corridor Plan. The bank has made great efforts to introduce entrepreneurs to the Chinese and Turkish economies to increase bilateral trade volume and do our best to bring more Chinese entrepreneurs and financial institutions to invest in Turkey.

What BRI projects in Turkey has BoC Turkey funded, and looking forward, what are your goals in Turkey for funding BRI projects?
Since the establishment of diplomatic rapport in 1971, Turkey and China have followed a course to develop their political and economic ties. Chinese investments in Turkey have expanded in a wide array of sectors including infrastructure, energy, transportation, telecommunication, technology, and finance. One of the last examples of such investments is the foundation of BoC Turkey A.Ş. in Turkey as part of BoC Group's expanding strategy to finance projects complementary to BRI. Turkey is an important country within this initiative, and China is willing to boost bilateral cooperation in the area of energy, telecommunications, railways, and ports in the countries that are part of BRI. BoC Group banks have funded many projects and Chinese investors under the BRI, in the way of cash and non-cash loans, in Turkey for many years. BoC Turkey A.Ş. will continuously endeavor to identify demand and finance eligible large ticket projects in Turkey, particularly in energy and infrastructure by utilizing BoC's global network and financial strength. We aim to provide financial services that create excellent values for our customers and shareholders and strengthen financial cooperation between Turkey and China.