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Russia’s Sberbank has issued its first reniminbi-denominated letters of credit, with financing from the Export-Import Bank of China.

The LCs will be used by Russian company Pharmasyntez, for the import of over Rmb29mn (US$4.7mn) of pharmaceutical products from China.

“The first LCs with financing from the Export-Import Bank of China have allowed the client to meet its current working capital needs while continuing to actively cooperate with Chinese suppliers,” Sberbank says in a statement.

The bank launched its Rmb-denominated LCs in November 2014, becoming the first in Russia to provide that product.

At the time, Andrei Ivanov, head of Sberbank CIB’s trade finance and correspondence relations division, said: “We are witnessing a positive trend of strengthening partnerships with Chinese banks. Currently we are seeing growth in Russian companies’ interest in settlements using national currencies, in particular Chinese yuan, and of course, Russian roubles.”