The largest bank in the country, State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to increase its reach in UAE. On February 25th, SBI announced that its group companies, SBI Mutual Fund and SBI Life, are soon going to start their operations in UAE.
Chief Executive Officer of SBI operations at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), A.J. Vidyasagar said, "While SBI Mutaul Fund is in the final stages of obtaining a licence from the UAE Central Bank for opening a representative office, SBI Life is about to file its application with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) for opening a representative office in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)."
He informed that ever since the bank has started accepting non-dirham deposits, the commercial operations at DIFC has been moving with higher pace. The bank can accept non-dirham deposits from non-UAE corporates and professional clients under Category 1 licence issued by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
SBI has operating all over the world with a network of 17,000 branches and the bank's presence in the gulf include two branches in Bahrain, one branch in Oman, representative offices in Teheran and Cairo. It is soon going to open a branch Jeddah.
SBI has also tied up with various exchange companies in the gulf in order to allow customers to remit funds to their accounts with the Indian branches of SBI. The exchange companies with which SBI has had tie up are Emirates India International Exchange, Al Rostamani Exchange, Wall Street Exchange, Al Ansari Exchange, Al Fardan Exchange, Al Ahalia Exchange, Citi Exchange and UAE Exchange.
Even amid the global meltdown, SBI managed to post an increase in its profits by 52% to Rs 36.08 million in the third quarter ending on December 2008. The non-performing assets of the bank also fell from 1.44% to 1.36% during the period under review.