Indian bank plans Middle East expansion

The India-based Bank of Baroda has unveiled plans to expand its overseas operations

The expansion plans cover ambitious growth intentions for Gulf countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, according to news provider Indo-Asian News Service (IANS). The company already has six branches in UAE and three in Oman.

A corporate official told Indian IANS: "We have already got the clearance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for our plans in these countries and are awaiting regulatory clearances from the host governments to start operations."

He added that Bank of Baroda intends to invest 200-400 million rupees ($4.5million – $9 million) over the next five years in expanding its overseas presence, with operations slated to open in Singapore, Canada, Maldives and Trinidad and Tobago over the next six to eight months.

"We have already got the clearance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for our plans in these countries and are awaiting regulatory clearances from the host governments to start operations," he added.

The public sector bank is rumoured to be considering introducing Islamic financial products, in line with Muslim Shariah law, appealing to customers beyond the large expatriate Indian population in the Gulf states.

The Indian bank has operations in 21 countries, 59 overseas offices and a joint venture in Zambia.

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