SBI to start Saudi operations
Riyadh, November 16, 2007
The State Bank of India (SBI) will begin its operation in Saudi Arabia early next year, Saudi Ambassador to India Saleh Mohammed Al Ghamdi said.
The SBI is going to open its full-fledged branch very soon following the clearance given by Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) recently, he said in a report published in the Arab News.
“Almost all the formalities to facilitate the opening of SBI branch have been completed and the bank is all set to start functioning in Saudi Arabia any moment,” Al Ghamdi said.
He made the remarks after delivering his lecture at the New Delhi-based Jawaherlal Nehru University (JNU), said the paper.
With more than 9,500 branches and a further 4,000-plus associate bank branches, the SBI has extensive coverage of India and abroad.
The bank also has the largest ATM network in the country having more than 6,000 ATMs.
In recent years, the bank has sought to expand its overseas operations by buying foreign banks, launching new products and services for foreigners and Indian diaspora as well as by opening new branches in different countries including the Gulf states.
Referring to the progressively growing Saudi-Indo relation, Al Ghamdi said “the two countries have forged closer relations in all sectors especially in trade and commerce.”
He called on the Indian businessmen to take advantage of the strong Saudi economy.
“The year 2006 was a year of unprecedented fiscal performance as oil export revenues have been at an all time high of $191 billion, 18 per cent above the previous year’s total which itself was a record,” he said.
The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries, he said, has also gone up to $10 billion, while the volume of joint investment exceeds $3 billion as of now.