It is the 12th foreign lender to secure a license after the country loosened up the industry to global players. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) commenced its operations in the Philippines two months after it secured its license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), reports BusinessWorld. Located in Taguig, Metro Manila, the branch started its operation after registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in August and securing a banking license from the central bank in November. Following the law passed in 2014 which loosens up local banking to global players, ICBC is the 12th foreign lender to secure a license from the central bank to start operations in the Philippines. The lender is also the first China bank to set up operations in the country after the Bank of China’s kickoff back in 2002. ICBC’s Manila venture comes amidst warmer trade ties between China and the Philippines after President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of a ‘pivot’ towards China during his Beijing visit in 2016.