Bank of China Ltd will likely double its capital investment in Malaysia to US$300 million in the first half of next year to further boost trade financing and enhance Malaysia-China trade. The move also echoes Chinese President Xi Jinping's call, during his visit to Malaysia last month, for more Chinese companies to invest in Malaysia. The lender is expected to double the capital to US$300 million by the first half of 2014, Liu Nengsheng, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of China (Malaysia) Bhd, told Malaysian /Bernama/ news agency Wednesday. "No time is better than now for Chinese companies to come to Malaysia (and) Bank of China wants to be the bridge for businesses from both sides," Liu said adding that the capital would allow the bank, China's fourth-biggest lender, to offer trade financing services here amid warming business ties. It would also be able to offer more diversified services to a wider base of clients, upgrade core technology systems, as well as, pave the way for the opening of subsidiaries in the future. As at 2011, Malaysia had invested US$6 billion in China's non-financial sector while Chinese companies had only spent US$800 million in Malaysia. The trade imbalance is set to improve after Xi's visit to Kuala Lumpur in October. His visit to Malaysia upgraded bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, following the signing of a five-year economic and trade cooperation agreement. Both countries have hoped to increase bilateral trade to US$160 billion by 2017. Liu said businesses here should be well prepared to receive the inflow of Chinese investments. The lender opened its sixth subsidiary in Kuching, Sarawak, this month. Bank of China first started operations in then Malaya in 1939 with its first branch in Penang, but ceased operations in March 1959 before making a comeback in 2001. Currently, it is one of the two Chinese banks operating in Malaysia, with the other being the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. China's second largest lender -- China Construction Bank Corp, is applying to enter the market here, an industry source told Bernama.