Chinese financial leasing firms are increasingly looking abroad to expand their business, according to reports.

Beijing-based ICBC Financial Leasing reached ¥300bn (€40bn) in assets by the end of 2015, 40% of which was international business, according to China Daily.

Zhao Guicai, president of ICBC Financial Leasing said: “International development has become an essential feature and core competence of our company.”

ICBC signed contracts with Chinese shipbuilders for 14 iron ore carriers worth $1.4bn (€1.27bn) earlier this year, after securing a 27-year deal to transport iron ore with Brazilian mining company Vale.

From the first half of 2018, ICBC will transport 16 million metric tons of iron ore from Brazil to China. “By signing these contracts, we are effectively pushing forward the domestic high-end shipbuilding industry to go global,” Zhao added.

Tianjin, the coastal Chinese city where IBCB was founded in 2007, has become a hotspot for China’s leasing industry, with 8 companies established and 1 awaiting approval. These firms have assets worth ¥520bn (€70.83bn), and 37% annual growth.

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Wang Wengang, deputy director of the Tianjin office of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said: “In the next stage, we’ll keep guiding financial leasing companies to further strengthen their support to the high-end equipment industry and improve business models that serve China’s ‘Going Global’ strategy.”