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State Bank of Mauritius planning to expand in India; will double branches


State Bank of Mauritius planning to expand in India; will double branches

State Bank of Mauritius (SBM), among the few foreign lenders to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, is targeting to grow its loan book to Rs 5,000 crore in the next two years and double its branches. The bank, which has been operational since 1994 as a branch and has four branches now, had advances of Rs 1,016 crore as of March 2018, according to the data from the RBI.

"SBM is targeting a healthy business and a balance- sheet and believes that quality assets of Rs 5,000 crore can be achieved over the next two years," an official statement said Friday. It is planning to inaugurate four more branches as it seeks to expand its book here.

Visiting Mauritian prime minister Pravind Jugnauth attended an event Thursday evening here where he inaugurated the bank's business as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The banks are targeting to support Indian companies investing in Africa across their trade finance needs, and also the India-Africa trade corridor said the statement.

"This change in our Indian strategy to convert our operations into a wholly-owned subsidiary has as its main objective in building greater proximity with our clients here," SBM chairman Li Kwong Wing said. Apart from retail, corporate and trade finance, the bank is also aiming to tap fee-based business in capital markets, trading and stockbroking, asset management and custody services businesses, the statement said.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, the RBI has been pursuing foreign banks to convert into wholly-owned subsidiaries with the intent of ring-fencing the financial system and has come out with specific norms for the same. So far, only a select few lenders like SBM and the Singaporean lender DBS have become so. This will get them almost equal treatment like the domestic lenders when it comes to branch expansion and taxation and other benefits.

The RBI mandates those with 20 branches or more will not be allowed to expand unless they become fully-owned local subsidiaries. But there are only four three foreign banks- StanC, HDBC and Citi-which have over 20 branches.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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