Thursday, July 2, 2009

SBI plans to become leading foreign bank in select nations, Mauritius

After maintaining number one position in India the State Bank of India is planning to be a leading foreign bank in selective nations, including Mauritius.

A senior SBI official informed, "Plans are in place to be the dominant foreign bank in few identified countries such as Mauritius, Singapore and Nepal".

SBI aims to have a major share in India-related business in high potential markets world wide.

He told working on the same line last fiscal the two of the bank's subsidiaries in Mauritius were merged to form a new entity called SBI (Mauritius) Ltd.

To create a new entity SBI (Mauritius) Ltd the bank's two partly owned subsidiaries in Mauritius namely Indian Ocean International Bank Ltd and SBI International (Mauritius) Ltd were merged.

He informed Bank of Mauritius sanctioned the scheme of merger from April 1, 2008.

He added as a result after the merger the SBI's share in SBI (Mauritius) Ltd has reduced from 98 per cent to 93.40 per cent.

Simultaneously, in the Nepal joint venture also SBI increased its share to 55 per cent from 50 per cent earlier.

SBI acquired 5 per cent stake of Nepal SBI Ltd through a competitive bid process from Agricultural Development Bank.

In the previous fiscal year SBI had funded 21 outbound merger and acquisition deals by Indian companies but in 2008-09, bank provided funds for 22 deals.

Moreover SBI is also planning to increase its presence in countries including the UK and the UAE which are having strong links with India.

He said, "Initiatives (are) under way to strengthen business in countries with a strong India linkage like the US, the UK and the UAE".

At present, SBI is having seven branches in the US and about six in the UK and in United Arab Emirates (UAE) the bank is having exchange services.

He told SBI also has a proposal to become a major bank for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) for their banking needs and added the process is going on to restructure the international business to enable new business model.

In 2008-09, the SBI international credit portfolio grew up by 54 per cent to Rs 86,267 crore from Rs 56,196 crore in the previous year. He pointed out there is considerable credit growth in spite of the global meltdown.

Also, last year bank along with its subsidiaries and joint ventures abroad opened nine offices, as well as full-fledged retail operations in Singapore, last year.

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