A total of 29 documents were signed during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy. As expected, Italy has become the first European G7 country to support the Belt and Road Initiative. Italian local media reported that the total value of those agreements reached more than €20bn.
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), an Italian state lender, signed an agreement with Bank of China (BOC) to work on a Rmb5bn ($744.2m) Panda bond, according to CDP’s press release on Saturday. The proceeds will be used to support Italian enterprises in China.
CDP and BOC will also work together to co-finance a Rmb4bn support programme for Italian companies in China.
CDP signed a third MoU with the Silk Road Fund to explore opportunities across a large range of sectors: financial services, agriculture, food, technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and energy.
Chen Siqing, chairman of Bank of China, also met with Pirelli, the Milan-based tyre manufacturer, Enel Group, Italy’s national energy group, and Banca d’Italia, Italy’s central bank.
On the sidelines, ANSA, Italy’s national news agency, signed an agreement with Xinhua news, China’s state media, to provide an Italian language version of Xinhua’s content.
Finally, Italy confirmed its attendance to China’s second import expo, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a Sunday statement.
Bank of Beijing announced on the Shanghai Stock Exchange website on Friday that it will partner with Dutch lender ING Bank to establish a Rmb3bn joint venture bank. After the transaction, Bank of Beijing would have a 49% stake in the JV, while ING Bank will own a 51% stake. The JV will be a fintech-focused digital bank.
According to the document, the transaction is still waiting for approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
On Saturday, the Shanghai Stock Exchange published the information of nine out of the 13 companies that have applied to list on the new tech board. The exchange said it has completed the first round of checks and given feedback on the required documents.
Over the weekend, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) cancelled its planned annual meeting in Chengdu, China. The meeting was supposed to take place on March 28 and conclude on March 31. It would have been the first time for the meeting to be held in China.
The board at IADB has 30 days to recommend a new location and date for the 2019 annual meeting, according to an official statement by the IADB on Friday.
China refused to grant a visa to Ricardo Hausmann, the Venezuelan representative. Hausmann was appointed by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom China does not regard as the legitimate president of Venezuela. The US warned it would not attend the conference if Hausmann was not granted a visa.
Chinese vice premier Sun Chunlan met with the chief executive officer of Apple, Tim Cook, in Beijing on Friday, state media Xinhua reported.
Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, gave a speech at the China Development Forum, an annual conference. He urged further liberalisation of the financial market.
Yi also said the opening up of the financial market should go hand in hand with currency reform.
“We will … continue the exchange rate regime reform, to enhance the flexibility of the RMB exchange rate and its role as the automatic stabiliser for the macro economy and the balance of payments,” Yi said.