Kuwait’s Warba Bank has signed two agreements with Standard Chartered to help facilitate its trade transactions in Asia.

Warba Bank has joined Standard Chartered’s Asia express guaranteed payments programme, and its China renminbi (Rmb) clearing services agreement.

The Asia express programme ensures the same or next-day delivery of funds to beneficiaries in Asia, while the Rmb agreement gives clients access to the internationalisation of the Rmb.

The agreements were signed in light of the shift of economic power from West to East, the internationalisation of the Rmb and the emerging trade corridors between Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Standard Chartered says.

Standard Chartered has been extending the benefits of its Rmb services to local and regional financial institutions in the Mena region, on order to facilitate trade-flows between Asian and Middle Eastern markets.

China has now replaced America as the top exporter to the Mena region. This trade is mainly dominated by the crude sales, sales of higher-value consumer goods and of capital equipment to the Middle East’s developing economies.

Hosam Nasser Al Muzaie, investment manager at Warba Bank says: “During a time of ever-closer economic ties between the Middle East and Asia, this partnership with Standard Chartered will strengthen our ability to meet the evolving needs of customers, many of whom have interests in the two regions.”

Motasim Iqbal, regional head of transaction banking at Standard Chartered adds: “Our partnership with Warba Bank is a clear indication of the increased demand from Mena-based corporate and financial institutions for transaction banking in Asia in general, and China in particular.”