SBI to kick off Doha, Jeddah operations soon

SBI is likely to approach the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority as early as next week to seek the final nod for the Doha branch, which is set to become the bank's second largest centre in the region after the Dubai International Finance Centre branch, a top SBI official said.

"The Doha branch will undertake all operations except retail services to the local residents. We would approach QFCRA as early as next week and expect to launch operations very soon. We expect the regulatory clearance without much delay," the official told PTI here.

Similarly, the banking major is in the final stages of opening its Jeddah branch, a full service one, providing both retail and corporate services to clients, the official said.
"In Jeddah, we have received permission from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. The technology platform is already in place and is undergoing final testing before launch," the official said.

Besides enhancing its footprint in the region, the new offices will also help SBI to grab a larger share of inward remittances by Indian firms and individuals in the region, which can be routed through its branches.

Recently, the bank got approval from the Chinese authorities to lend in local currency, the Yuan, to become the first Indian bank to get such permission from the country.
SBI has one full-fledged branch in Shanghai and a representative office in Tianjin. The bank is planning to set up a branch in Guangzhou and upgrade the Tianjin repo office to a branch in due course.

Overseas operations contribute around 13-14 per cent to the bank's total revenues currently, which SBI has targeted to increase to 20 per cent over the next 3-4 years.
SBI has 142 outlets abroad, which include over 64 branches under five subsidiaries.

These subsidiaries are in Indonesia (6 branches), Mauritius (12 branches), Nepal (32 branches), California (7 branches) and Canada (7 branches).

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