Doha, Jan 3: The State Bank of India (SBI), the eighth biggest bank in Asia and ranked 62nd in the world, will open a branch in Doha in the first quarter of 2011, a media report said Monday.
“The talks and procedures for setting up a wholesale banking unit in Doha are in the final stages,” a SBI official told the Qatar Tribune Monday.
The new branch will become operational by March 2011, said Satyajit Pratap, who has been appointed chief executive officer for the SBI branch.
The SBI had sought authorisation in May 2010 from the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) to open a branch.
“Given the growing opportunities in Qatar and the region, the SBI is planning to enhance its presence and business profile in the country,” he was quoted as saying by Gulf News.
Qatar has a population of 1.7 million, of which 20 percent are Indians.
Pratap said the Doha office would not only focus on enhancing its India-related business but also take care of global needs of the bank’s existing as well as prospective customers.
The bank also plans to offer investment and retail banking services to a large number of Indian expatriates and Asian business entities in Qatar.
The SBI, which has 152 overseas branches, aims at increasing the number of foreign offices to over 1,000 in the next couple of years.
Of the proposed overseas offices, the bank is aiming to set up around 30 in 2011, including one in Jeddah.
The balance sheet of the SBI, which figures at the 150th spot in the Forbes 2000 List of the largest global business entities, is estimated at over $100 billion.
The bank recorded over $1 billion in profit in the 2009-10 fiscal year. –(IANS)