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CITIC, ABC Establish Strategic Partnership of Credit Priority
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China's CITIC Group is to get a credit line of about eight billion yuan (1.03 billion U.S. dollars) from the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), said sources with CITIC on Saturday.

Under an agreement signed on Friday, the ABC will offer a credit line to CITIC and give priority to CITIC's financing application.

This is the first strategic cooperation agreement signed by CITIC Group with a major commercial bank in China.

A CITIC insider told Xinhua the two parties would negotiate details of the credit line soon, but it could be eight billion yuan.

CITIC, accustomed to financing from overseas, seldom received credit from domestic commercial banks, said the insider.

Both sides also agreed to establish an effective communication system to ensure the operation of the partnership.

CITIC Group, established in 1979, is one of China's major finance companies. A large transnational conglomerate, CITIC's core business involves finance, industrial investment and service industries.

The ABC is one of the four major state-owed commercial banks of China. The other three are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and the China Construction Bank.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2006)

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