SBI, ICICI Bank to start business in Singapore

SBI, ICICI Bank to start business in Singapore

New Delhi: Singapore has agreed to allow State Bank of India and ICICI Bank to launch full banking operations in the South-East Asian countries, under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India.

“Two of our banks (SBI and ICICI) and nine from Singapore will be granted the Qualified Full Banking (QFB) licence by the two countries," a senior Commerce Ministry official told PTI.

He said the Reserve Bank of India and the Monetary Authority of Singapore would be working on the modalities on allowing banks from the respective countries to start full operations.

The official said while no timeframe has been set for finalising the deal, the authorities are looking at completing modalities, for banks from the two countries to start operations, by December.

“Hopefully by December all modalities would be in place," he said.

Under the QFB licence, foreign banks are given national treatment by the host country. Proposals to allow QFB licence to banks from the two countries were taken up at the meeting to review CECA.

Marking increased operation in the financial services sector, Singapore-government owned Temasek has bought 10% stake in ICICI, he said.

The CECA between India and Singapore was implemented two years ago and covers investment, trade in services and merchandise goods.

Senior officials from India and Singapore met here and reviewed the progress of the economic cooperation agreement.