Global Fortune 500-listed State Bank of India (SBI), has started providing a complete range of banking services from its base in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), India’s top bank announced today.
SBI has received a full banking licence from the regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which enables its DIFC branch to accept deposits and provide credit, subject to the regulations of the DFSA. India’s number one bank has also obtained a Retail Endorsement to its licence, which enables it to arrange investments for retail customers and offer credit to small and medium enterprises (SME).
SBI’s DIFC Branch will provide trade finance and short-term working capital loans including Letters of Credit (LC) and Bank Guarantees, term loans, project finance and as well as syndication of credit requirements at highly competitive rates. The branch has a special desk to handle LC related activity.
The branch can arrange and advise on the investment products of the State Bank Group and other reputed fund houses. It can also accept deposits from non-UAE-based Professional Clients/Corporates in US dollars, Euros and GBP.
HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC and Vice-Chairman of the UAE Central Bank said: “The expansion of the SBI’s services out of DIFC is a clear testimony to the vast opportunities that the region’s financial services industry offers banking firms. SBI is not new to our region, as it has been serving a wide client base in the Gulf. From its base in DIFC, SBI can now broaden this experience by serving a larger region covering the Middle East, North Africa and the Caspian.” Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said: “Over the past year, an increasing number of banking and financial institutions from major Asian emerging markets like India have been establishing a presence in DIFC. DIFC seeks to establish stronger linkages with the financial sectors of India and other Asian markets through targeted outreach programmes. With its long experience of doing business in the Middle East, and its status as the leading state-owned bank in India, SBI can play a key role in strengthening financial and investment ties between India and the Middle East region.” The team at SBI – DIFC Branch is headed by its Chief Executive Officer AJ Vidyasagar. He is fully confident of providing top-class corporate banking services to the bank’s clients in keeping with State Bank of India’s tradition of delivering safe, transparent and regulatory-compliant products.
“SBI has upgraded its operations in the region despite the present economic downturn, which reflects our immense faith in the potential of the UAE and the wider market and also in our own ability to do profitable business under any circumstances. The trading and industrial community in the Gulf consists of many companies with an Indian connection, which is a base for the bank to further build its business across the wider region,” Vidyasagar said.
Supported by its group headquarters based in India, SBI provides top-class corporate banking services in the region. The bank’s Corporate Banking Group in India has extensive expertise in handling credit requirements of large corporates as well as infrastructure financing. The bank is the leading lender in India for Project Finance. More than 490 of India’s top corporates bank with SBI. Large corporates operating in the Middle East can avail of the services of SBI – DIFC Branch through the Global Markets Department’ in India, which handles the bank’s Treasury Operations across all time zones.
SBI is a 200-year old financial institution, which has earned high levels of customer trust and the respect of its competitors by following prudent banking practices. The bank has an international presence in 92 locations spread over 32 countries and continues to grow at an aggressive pace.
SBI has received several prestigious awards like Best Bank – 2009′ from the Business India Group; and ‘Bank of the Year 2008 – India’ from London-based The Banker magazine. It was also ranked No # 1 in Financial Reputation among Indian Companies by Wall Street Journal Asia.