(EnergyAsia, December 28 2011, Wednesday) — Dutch bank ABN AMRO said it is expanding the Asian operations of its global energy, commodities & transportation (ECT), private banking and clearing businesses.

Under Maaike Steinebach, CEO for ECT Asia and Country Executive for Hong Kong, the bank said it has rebuilt its regional ECT capabilities over the last 18 months. This includes re-establishing full coverage of the oil and gas, shipping and agricultural, energy and metals commodities markets in its Singapore office. It recently added a metals commodities team in Hong Kong and is building its debt solutions team to complement the bank’s strength in lending.

As part of an ongoing selected re-establishment of its international presence in key locations, the bank said it has just received final approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission to open a representative office in Shanghai, which it targets to be operational in the first quarter.

Gerrit Zalm, chairman of ABN AMRO, said:

“Asia is a strategically important region for the bank and its clients. We have exceptionally long standing relationships across many industries, which will be better serviced by our renewed presence in key locations as well as deeper product capabilities. This targeted expansion is consistent with our dual international strategy of building the global franchises of our ECT, private banking and clearing businesses, while also supporting the activities of our Dutch clients around the world.”