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Bank of China signs cooperation agreements with two Taiwan banks

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BEIJING, Dec.24 (Xinhua) -- Bank of China (BOC), China's fourth largest lender by assets, announced Friday that it had signed comprehensive cooperation agreements with with two Taiwan-based commercial banks.

This is the first time for a mainland bank to sign such agreements with its Taiwan counterparts.

BOC said it had set up closer cooperation with the Bank of Taiwan, the largest bank on the island by assets, and the First Commercial Bank, the fifth largest.

Under the agreements, the two banks and BOC would work together in the treasury business, trade financing, syndicated lending, loan services for small and medium enterprises, and personnel training, it said.

BOC has provided more than 120 billion yuan (about 18 billion U.S. dollars) of financing to Taiwan enterprises in the past three years and set up a representative office in Taipei in late October.

In June this year, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan signed a landmark free trade deal, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which allows the two sides to open service industries, including the banking sector, to each other.

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