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China's top bank extends 19 bln USD to outgoing firms

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BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market value, said Wednesday it has signed loan contracts worth 18.7 billion U.S. dollars with Chinese firms that wish to expand their presence overseas.

As of the end of August, 13.4 billion U.S. dollars in loans had been provided to the firms, an ICBC spokesman said.

The outgoing companies are engaged in multiple sectors, including electric power, telecommunications, transport, construction, oil and gas, coal, mining, new energy and manufacturing.

Catering to the companies' needs, such as overseas investment, acquisitions, construction project contracts and international trade, the bank has offered a raft of financing products, such as export credit, project lending and loans via cooperation with foreign banks, the spokesman said.

The bank has granted 7 billion U.S. dollars in loans so far this year to companies operating in Africa, the spokesman said.

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