SBI to set foot in Gulf regions of Doha and Jeddah soon
By Vaibhav Aggarwal
Mar 31, 2010
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In a move to set and strengthen its position in the list of foreign financial institutions in the Gulf region, State Bank of India has declared to be in the mature phase starting operations in Doha and Jeddah.

The country's largest lender would be approaching the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority next week so as to receive the final nod to start up its Doha branch. The branch of Doha would be the second largest center of the bank in the Gulf following the Dubai International Finance Centre branch, a top SBI official said.

"The Doha branch will undertake all operations except retail services to the local residents. We would approach QFCRA as early as next week and expect to launch operations very soon. We expect the regulatory clearance without much delay," the official said.

The bank is also in the last stages of setting up a branch in Jeddah which would also be a full service branch providing both retail and corporate services to clients, the official said.

"In Jeddah, we have received permission from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. The technology platform is already in place and is undergoing final testing before launch," the official said.

These steps by SBI will also help the bank to grab a larger share of the inward remittances by Indian firms and individuals in the Gulf.

The bank recently got approval from China to lend in the local Chinese currency Yuan. It has become the first bank in India to receive this permission from China.

The bank has one fully operating branch in Shanghai and also a representative office in Tianjin. The bank has plans to set up a branch in Guangzhou and upgrade the Tianjin repo office to a branch in the coming future.

It has 142 outlets abroad, which include over 64 branches under five subsidiaries.

The subsidiaries of the bank are located in Indonesia (6 branches), Mauritius (12 branches), Nepal (32 branches), California (7 branches) and Canada (7 branches).


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