State Bank of India Launches Corporate Services from DIFC

ABU DHABI — State Bank 
of India, or SBI, has launched corporate banking services from its unit office Dubai International Financial Centre, or DIFC, after getting the required sanctions from the Dubai Financial Services Authority, or DFSA.

By T. Ramavarman

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Published: Thu 20 Aug 2009, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:45 AM

SBI, the largest bank in India, has around 12100 offices all over the world and a more than 150 million- strong customer base.

This public sector bank has a capital reserve of $ 12.072 billion and had a total business of $ 273.61 billion (including deposits and advances) as on March 31, 2009.

The bank had started its operations in Dubaitwo years back with a Category IV licence, which allowed itto perform only limited operations like “arranging and advicing” of financial services .

“Now we have been granted Category I licence by the UAE authorities, and we will be able to involve in the entire gamut of corporate finance operations like lending and accepting deposits from corporate houses,” SBI CEO A.J. Vidyasagar told Khaleej Times here.

“Of course there are some restrictions like we can do business only in other currencies and not in dirhams. Also, we can accept deposits only from outside markets, and not from the local market.”

But even within those constraints we hope to achieve a reasonable level of business. The Indo-UAE trade is currently worth about $30 billion dollars annually, and if we are able to hav e8 to 10 per cent share it will be a good business. We will be concentrating on trade finance, though we will be offering other corporate banking services as well,” Vidyasagar said.

The SBI, DIFC branch, has obtained a “retail endorsement” in its licence, which will enable it to arrange investment deals (like investment in mutual funds) to retail clients also.

Vidyasagar said that the bank was ready to open full-fledged branches in the UAE as soon as the authorities here give sanction.

ramavarman@khaleejtimes.ae



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