State Bank of India to open more branches
Manama, March 24, 2009
State Bank of India (SBI) is to expand its operations in Bahrain by opening two more retail branches, it was revealed.
SBI, India's largest bank, which has its presence in Bahrain since 1977, will also extend the range of services offered to the public, said SBI Bahrain's outgoing regional head and chief executive officer Praveen Gupta.
Gupta will be leaving Bahrain on Saturday on completion of his tenure here.
S M Farooque Shahab, branch head and chief operating officer at the Full Commercial Branch (FCB) of the bank would be taking over from Gupta.
Sanjeev Nautiyal, a senior officer in the bank, is the new branch head and chief operating officer at the FCB.
Gupta joined the Bahrain Overseas Banking Unit in April 2004.
During this period, SBI expanded its presence in the Gulf substantially, with the opening of FCB in Bahrain in 2007, a full branch in Oman in 2004, opening of a branch with merchant banking licence in Dubai in 2007, which has since been upgraded to a commercial banking branch.
SBI is in the process of opening its first Jeddah office, which is expected to become operational later this year, said Gupta.
'The bank has plans to open more offices in the Gulf in the near future, including two more branches in Bahrain,' he told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.
'We have not yet identified the locations in Bahrain, but it may be in Adliya and Seef.
'We shall also start the personal loan services in Bahrain within three months. Currently it offers corporate loans and small and medium enterprises loans.'
Gupta said the bank has also started direct remittance facility to India for the benefit of its non-resident Indian customers.
'We opened our first ATM last week, and two or three more will be added in the coming months,' he said.
'The bank also offers the services of safe deposit lockers.'
Despite the current meltdown in the global financial markets, the Bahrain OBU of the bank has recorded significant increase in its business in the last two years, said Gupta.
'We registered an increase in profits at an annual rate of growth of more than 60 per cent in the last two years,' he said.
'The Bahrain OBU is the best performing office of the SBI amongst all the foreign offices of the bank.'
Gupta was promoted to the rank of general manager in the bank late last year.
He would be reporting at the bank's corporate office at Mumbai on repatriation.-TradeArabia News Service