Dubai: State Bank of India plans to open its office in Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) in few weeks, a move that will boost India’s largest bank’s presence in the Gulf region.
In the Gulf region, SBI already operates in Bahrain and Oman, and plans to open a Saudi branch in Jeddah this year.
SBI received a licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority in December last year allowing it to provide investment in banking services, but cannot offer retail services. Among the Indian banks, ICICI and ExIm Bank have a licence in DIFC.
Jacob Akkidas, DIFC branch senior manager, said the bank opened a branch in Dubai because of the large Indian population here, in addition to the region’s strong economic growth. The prospects for SBI here are encouraging because “there are a lot of Indian companies here and a huge Indian population, many who have accounts in India,” he quoted as said by Gulf News.
The bank’s category four licence granted by the DFSA allows it to advise and arrange investment credit or deals for its clients. In addition, the bank may also participate in arranging custody, insurance intermediation and management, operating an alternative trading system, and providing fund administration.