ICICI opens first retail outlet in Singapore

Located in the banking hub of Singapore's central business district, the branch office is the start of ICICI's retail operations in the country under a 25-branch Qualified Full Banking (QFB) licence given by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in April, Kochhar said.
"We look at Singapore not just as doing business with Singapore, but the region," she said, impressing on the bank's growth plans without setting forward targets.

Responding to questions on acquisitions, as well as further expansion in the region, she said ICICI would essentially have organic growth going forward.

Singapore accounts for USD 5.8 billion of ICICI Bank's USD 90 billion annual balance sheet and a significant 25 per cent portion of its international business."In that sense, Singapore is one of the largest hubs of international businesses," Kochhar added.
"Our focus will be to develop the regional banking business through Singapore operations," said Kochhar, who also underlined the importance of Southeast Asian markets.

"I expect a lot of business coming from the regional facilitated by the QFB licence in Singapore," she said.

The ICICI Bank Managing Director said the lender would be adding new products to expand its Singapore and regional businesses.

Kochhar also highlighted the importance of Non-Resident Indian remittances, pointing out that ICICI has a 28 per cent share of the total remittances coming into India and Singapore is an important part of that business too.

Touching on ICICI's growth strategy for the coming years, she said: "Our expectation is that we will grow around 18 per cent for the current year ending March, 2011, and 20 per cent to 22 per cent the following year."

Kochhar also cited stronger growths for banks in India, based on the projected 9 per cent to 10 per cent annual Indian economic growth.She projected annual Indian banking sector growth of over 20 per cent, with some larger banks growing by "more than that".
"In five years' time, the Indian banking sector should be about 2-1/2 times the size of what it is currently," said Kochhar, acknowledging the massive financing requirements for developing the country's multi-billion dollar infrastructure sector."I think there are huge opportunities for all of us in India. The pie is large and there will opportunities for all banks to grow," she said.

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