Top Indian bank starts services from DIFC
Dubai, September 15, 2009
India's top bank State Bank of India (SBI), has started providing a complete range of corporate banking services from its base in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Global Fortune 500-listed SBI said it has received a full banking licence from the regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which enables its DIFC branch to accept deposits and provide credit, subject to the regulations of the DFSA.
The bank has also obtained a Retail Endorsement to its licence, which enables it to arrange investments for retail customers and offer credit to small and medium enterprises (SME), said chief executive officer AJ Vidyasagar, who will head the team at SBI - DIFC Branch.
The DIFC Branch will provide trade finance and short-term working capital loans including Letters of Credit (LC) and Bank Guarantees, term loans, project finance and as well as syndication of credit requirements at highly competitive rates. The branch has a special desk to handle LC related activity, he added.
Vidyasagar said he was confident of providing top-class corporate banking services to the clients in keeping with State Bank of India’s tradition of "delivering safe, transparent and regulatory-compliant products."
The branch can arrange and advise on the investment products of the State Bank Group and other reputed fund houses. It can also accept deposits from non-UAE-based Professional Clients/Corporates in US dollars, Euros and GBP, he added.
Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, governor of the DIFC and vice-chairman of the UAE Central Bank said the expansion of the SBI’s services out of DIFC was a clear testimony to the vast opportunities that the region’s financial services industry offers banking firms.
"SBI is not new to our region, as it has been serving a wide client base in the Gulf. From its base in DIFC, SBI can now broaden this experience by serving a larger region covering the Middle East, North Africa and the Caspian," Bin Sulaiman remarked.
Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said over the past year, an increasing number of banking and financial institutions from major Asian emerging markets like India have been establishing their presence in DIFC.
"DIFC seeks to establish stronger linkages with the financial sectors of India and other Asian markets through targeted outreach programmes. With its long experience of doing business in the Middle East, and its status as the leading state-owned bank in India, SBI can play a key role in strengthening financial and investment ties between India and the Middle East region,” he stated.
Supported by its group headquarters based in India, SBI provides top-class corporate banking services in the region. The bank’s corporate banking group in India has extensive expertise in handling credit requirements of large corporates as well as infrastructure financing.
The bank is the leading lender in India for Project Finance. More than 490 of India’s top corporates bank with SBI. Large corporates operating in the Middle East can avail of the services of SBI - DIFC Branch through the ‘Global Markets Department’ in India, which handles the bank’s Treasury Operations across all time zones.-TradeArabia News Service