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China's largest bank appears to back away from Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline | Reuters

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A top Pakistani government body said that China's largest bank is backing away from a long-running plan to build a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, a project that the United States has strongly opposed.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) , the world's most valuable lender, had previously submitted a bid to act as financial adviser for the estimated $1.25 billion project, according to a Pakistani finance ministry official.

But the bank is "showing less interest," the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet said in a statement issued late on Tuesday.

A Pakistani finance ministry official said the fear of U.S. sanctions on companies dealing with Iran appeared to be weighing on the Chinese bank.

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