China Construction Bank (CCB) has been granted a banking licence in Malaysia, becoming the third Chinese lender to open in the country.

The state-owned bank follows in the trail laid by Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and is the first foreign commercial bank in six years to be granted a Malaysian banking licence.

At a signing ceremony attended by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the bank signed a flurry of deals to announce its entry, including loans and co-operation agreements.

CCB signed on as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner on a US$1bn syndicated loan to Alliance Steel, which came with a Rmb1.5bn drawdown. It signed an MoU with Quang Xi Bei Fu Gulf International Port Group, which will see the pair collaborate on the financing of the Malaysia China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP). Another MoU was signed with Aroma Teraju and CCG Overseas Real Estate Pte, which will see CCB collaborate on project financing.

Further to these, memoranda were signed with Malaysia Investment Development Authority, Invest KL, Malayan Banking, CIMB Cambodia, Public Bank, YTL Group and Xiamen University.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, CCB chairman Wang Hongzhang said that the bank’s branch will facilitate outbound investment from Chinese companies as part of the One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR).

He said: “CCB has also done some work and is ready to provide more services in helping Chinese enterprises invest in Malaysia like providing services in mergers and acquisitions, financing, credit approval, RMB clearing and other financial advisory services.”

Prime Minister Razak said he hoped that CCB would be a part of Malaysia’s infrastructure investment programme, which is set to be a boon to trade.

He said: “We hope that CCB will participate proactively in financing high-priority infrastructure projects such as railways, highways, harbours, airports, telecommunications, power and affordable housing.”