OREANDA-NEWS.  June 19, 2012. Bank of China Ltd. (BACHY) has become the first major Chinese bank to set up an oil products trading desk in Singapore, reflecting the growing aspirations of Chinese institutions and the country's expanding clout in energy markets.

Bank of China International Holdings Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Of China, has set up a three-member team in Singapore that will primarily trade fuel oil and some light distillates, people familiar with the matter said.

BOCI already has a trading desk in Hong Kong that trades crude oil.

"It's a new startup. So it's going to start low profile, handling client business and such," said one of the people, who didn't wish to be named.

Like most bank trading desks, the BOCI unit will primarily trade in the paper market, and has no immediate plan to handle physical business, the person said.

A BOCI spokesperson had no immediate comment.