Shipowner PIL signs banking deal with ICBC

One of Southeast Asia's largest shipowners Pacific International Lines (PIL) has signed a five-year banking deal with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

Both parties say that the deal, inked Sat (Nov 7), marks a significant milestone in China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative.

PIL will be supported by ICBC with an entire range of financial services, including shipping and trade financing, structured financing, international exchange and settlement, derivatives trading, and investment banking.

ICBC will also be the shipowner's preferred lead advisor and underwriter for debt financing requirements.

"As Singapore and China usher in a new era of trade and economic relations, there are many areas in which businesses in both countries can continue deepening and expanding collaborative efforts," said Mr Zhang Weiwu, General Manager of ICBC Singapore.

Mr Zhang said that ICBC will be seeing how it can support Singaporea businesses in their corporate and yuan financing needs.

PIL's managing director Teo Siong Seng said: "As a global ship-owner and operator, we are focused on strengthening our core services in shipping, while remaining competitive within the industry."

ICBC is the official yuan clearing bank of Singapore and the first in Singapore to offer client advisory services on foreign direct investments to China.

On Saturday, ICBC and IE Singapore also signed a deal to cooperate on promoting cross border e-commerce. Singapore companies can tap on ICBC's wide network for "low-cost and effective means" of selling online to customers.