Chinese banks are increasingly willing to finance resources projects within Australia and also take a clear lead role on transactions, according to Mallesons Stephen Jaques Perth-based banking partner Nicholas Creed.
Creed, who led the Mallesons team advising four Chinese banks as the lead arrangers on the $US1.2 billion ($1.37 billion) financing of Western Australia's Karara Iron Ore project, said Chinese activity in the sector is certainly picking up.
"Our clients on the Karara financing were very keen to ensure that all aspects of the deal were completed in line with international best practice, demonstrating that Chinese banks are involved in project financings in the same way Western banks have been doing for years," he said.
Creed also said the deal represents the emergence of a strong trend in financing for Australian mining projects, and is among the first Chinese bank funded project financings in Australia.
The Karara Iron Ore project is a joint venture between Gindalbie Metals Limited (advised by Clayton Utz) and China's second largest steel producer and largest miner of iron ore, Ansteel (advised by Norton Rose).