- BG Group and Bank of China have signed a key co-operation agreement that enhances the existing close working relationship between the organisations and also allows for up to $1.5bn. of new funding options to support the Group's major growth programme.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) builds upon existing commercial relationships between BG Group and Bank of China and confirms the intention to make extended credit facilities available that can be used to help deliver the Group's global growth plans - including its operations in China where the Group has an established commercial presence and where an initial offshore exploration programme is underway.

The MoU also identifies other areas of potential co-operation including investment banking services, derivatives products, bank deposits, insurance and international settlement and trade finance facilities.

Separately, BG Group already has a $200m lending facility in place with Bank of China which is just one of a series of committed lending facilities that the company has with a group of international banks. These lending facilities in aggregate have been recently increased and extended and now total $4.4bn.

On signing the MoU with the Chairman of the Bank of China Gang Xiao, BG Group Chief Executive Sir Frank Chapman said: "This is a significant agreement for BG Group. It affirms and enhances our existing excellent relationship with the Bank of China. BG Group has a well established presence in China as a result of our LNG sales into this valuable and rapidly growing market, through a long-term sales and equity agreement with CNOOC in our QCLNG project in Australia, and with an extensive exploration programme offshore China that has already produced a discovery. "This agreement builds on our existing facilities with Bank of China and provides the option for substantial additional funding for our commitments in China and also our global growth programme."

At 11:59am: [LON:BG.] BG Group share price was +28.25p at 1303.25p

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