Top Indian bank plans Mideast expansion
Manama, December 16, 2011
State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest commercial bank, celebrated its fifth anniversary in Bahrain with a gala dinner at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa hotel.
Guests from Bahrain's banking and finance industry and senior government officials were greeted by State Bank of India managing director and group executive of international banking Hemant Contractor, who is currently on a two-day visit to the kingdom.
The guests included Indian Ambassador Mohan Kumar, SBI regional head for the Middle East, West Asia and North Africa Sanjeev Nautiyal and retail banking chief executive Mohan Ganeshan
'Projected to exceed $130 billion by 2014, GCC-India bilateral trade is set to grow exponentially in the upcoming years,' said Contractor.
'India is currently in talks with members of the GCC to conclude a free trade agreement that will facilitate the increase in trade.
'To align ourselves with this projected growth, SBI has undertaken a rapid expansion plan for the Middle East.
'Last year in the GCC, we opened three branches - a retail branch in Jeddah, a wholesale branch in Doha and a second retail branch in Riffa Bahrain. This brought our total number of branches to seven,' he said.
'The overwhelming response received from this fast growing market encourages us to constantly evolve and raise standards to meet its increasing demands,' he added.
'The Bahrain unit has been instrumental in securing a firm position for the bank in the GCC market and effectively bridging the gap with its NRI customers in the region.
'Our efforts will now be focused on making SBI the preferred local bank for all Bahraini residents by introducing innovative products and services, attracting vibrant local talent into our workforce and increasing our presence through additional branches across the country,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service