The Bank of China (BOC), China's second largest lender, and Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chinalco, signed a credit line agreement in Beijing Friday.
According to the strategic cooperation agreement, the bank will grant Chinalco, the country's aluminium sector investor and manager, a credit line of 24.8 billion yuan.
Chinalco, a State-owned giant with assets and sales revenues both exceeding 100 billion yuan in 2006, has 25 subsidiaries, including Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd., also known as Chalco, the country's largest aluminum maker.
The agreement lays a solid background for the two parties to continue further financial cooperation, said BOC governor Li Lihui and Chinalco general manager Xiao Yaqing.
China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of aluminum, produced 9.3 million tons of primary aluminum in 2006, up from 3.4 million tons in 2001. Along with the country's development, Chinalco and its subsidiaries are expanding rapidly.
Chalco is conducting negotiations with Indian Ashapura Minechem on setting up a joint venture in Northeastern India's Orissa State with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons and investment of 25 billion Rupees.
Although China's top economic planner has called for investment in the aluminum-smelting sector to be curbed, it is up 124.2 percent in the first two months over the same period last year. The curbing measures are mainly directed at out-of-date production capacities.
Since the National Development and Reform Commission has raised the aluminum production threshold, the industry giants have actually benefited from the measures and quickened their expansion, industry insiders said.
The BOC, with more than 600 overseas outlets in 27 countries and regions, ranks the fifth largest bank in the world while the Chinalco serves as the world's second largest alumina producer and Asia's largest aluminium processing company.