MOSCOW, March 6 China Construction Bank
, one of China's top four state banks, is set to open
a branch in Russia, the central bank said on Wednesday, as
Moscow forges closer ties with its energy-hungry neighbour.
The bank is awaiting a licence to conduct business in
Russia, the central bank said.
China Construction Bank is bucking the trend of foreign
lenders leaving Russia to cut costs and mitigate the
consequences of the 2008 financial crisis.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged domestic energy
companies to forge close ties with fast-growing markets in Asia.
Russia's top crude producer, Rosneft, has been in
talks with China over a loan in exchange for increasing oil
supplies, while top natural gas producer Gazprom is
trying to secure a gas supply deal with the Asian
Several Chinese lenders, including Bank of China (Eluosi),
already operate in Russia.
($1 = 30.6569 Russian roubles)
(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin;
Editing by David Cowell)