Standard Chartered has achieved its second move into cross-border RMB lending by completing a series of loans collectively worth RMB50 million (€7.1 million; $8.0 million) to Tianjin Eco-City Keppel New Energy Development (TEC Keppel), the Tianjin-based joint venture of power infrastructure group Keppel.
The cross-border technology park transaction is the second for the London-headquartered bank, which issued a similar loan last year from Singapore to Suzhou Industrial Park, It is also Standard Chartered's first RMB-denominated loan from outside of China in Tianjin, one of the country’s five biggest agglomerations and one of the four central cities under Beijing’s direct control.
“Standard Chartered has been playing an active role in encouraging the internationalisation of the RMB. The transaction offers TEC_Keppek the opportunity to access offshore RMB liquidity more effectively and optimise funding structure as it continues to expand its business operations in China,” said Patrick Lee, head of Standard Chartered’s corporate and institutional clients in Singapore.
Tianjin Eco-City is a flagship co-operation project between the governments of Singapore and China, planned to accommodate 350,000 residents.
TEC Keppel, a joint venture between Keppel DHC Pte., Tianjin Eco-City Energy Investment, and Construction Co., was established in 2010 to provide district heating and cooling systems within the Eco-Business Park in the TEC.
The project, jointly developed by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, and the Singapore planning team led by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, is government-led but also calls on the private sector to help with the financing, design and construction of the city.
International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) is encouraging Singapore-based firms to invest in the project with grant-based incentive schemes.
Under Tianjin Eco-City Assistance Programme, launched in 2011, each eligible company may receive a grant of up to S$150,000 (€98,000, $111,000). Another incentive programme announced in March 2012 will see IE Singapore committing S$9.5 million over the next five years to assist eligible Singapore companies interested to invest in the Eco-city.