Mumbai: With a view to develop a global footprint, state-run Central Bank of India is mulling an entry into markets such as Bhutan, Mozambique, Hong Kong and Kenya this year by adopting multiple routes.
“We have applied to the Reserve Bank to have a representative office in Nairobi and enter Mozambique and Bhutan by forging joint ventures with local partners,” the bank’s chairman and managing director, S Sridhar, told a select group of mediapersons here.
Besides this, the Mumbai-headquartered lender, which completed its centenary recently, has also sought a regulatory go-ahead to have a full-fledged branch in Hong Kong, which will be helpful in raising foreign funds, Sridhar said.
At present, the mid-size Government lender does not have an international presence except the Indo-Zambia Bank in which it has a stake along with other PSB peers Bank of India and Bank of Baroda.
In Bhutan and Mozambique, local regulations require the bank to have a tie-up, he said
“In Bhutan, there is a lot of money floating beyond (the capital) Thimpu. Plus, with a system like the Unique Identity project of India already in place, the KYC (know your customer) gets easy and accounts can be opened fast.”
As for Mozambique, Sridhar said the greater interest shown by Indian corporates in the African continent is prompting the bank to have a look at having a presence in the south-east African country.
“Also, I have found the people of Mozambique have a lot of respect for Indians. They look at Indians as honest people and there have been instances of them turning to us for advice. These factors will help the bank,” he said.