(EnergyAsia, September 23 2011, Friday) — BOC, one of the world’s largest banks, said it is setting up its first overseas forfaiting and commodity finance units in Singapore in response to growing demand for commodity and general trade financing.

The bank said it chose Singapore for its strategic location and active community of commodity traders and trade financing professionals.

It also announced that subsidiary BOC Singapore has signed its first commodity financing agreement with Unipec Singapore, a Sinopec-owned oil trading company.

Yue Yi, BOC’s executive vice president, said:

“Singapore is located in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region and has played a strategically important role in the commodity trade, so it was a natural choice to start our first overseas forfaiting and commodity finance units here.

“BOC has had a presence in Singapore since 1936, and played a significant role in promoting bilateral economic linkages. These latest offerings from BOC will add significant breadth and depth to our existing businesses including deposits and loans, trade finance, credit cards, treasury transactions, and wealth management. They will also boost trade between the two countries as well as between China and the ASEAN region.”

At the launch ceremony yesterday attended by Wei Wei, the Chinese Ambassador to Singapore and Kathy Lai, assistant CEO of International Enterprise Singapore, BOC Singapore signed its Commodity Finance Strategic Partnership Agreement with Unipec Singapore.