Mumbai : Mauritius Prime Minister P.K. Jugnauth inaugurated the SBM Bank (India) Ltd, which becomes the first foreign bank in India that was granted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) licence to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, an official said on Friday.
Previously known as SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd, it started Indian operations in 1994 and has branches in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram in Andhra Pradesh.
Now, these will be renamed as ‘SBM Bank (India) Ltd’ and shall operate as a full-fledged universal bank, headed by Managing Director and CEO Sidharth Rath.
Present at the event on Thursday evening along with Jugnauth were Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Mauritian cabinet ministers, SBM Holdings Ltd Group Chairman K.C. Li Kwong Wing, Rath and other dignitaries.
Terming it a ‘historic event’, Rath said the SBM Bank would offer all retail, corporate, trade finance services, capital markets, trading and stockbroking, asset management and custody services for the Indian customers.
Wing said the group now has a bigger presence in Kenya after acquiring two local banks and the Indian banking licence to operate as a full-fledged universal bank would complement its ‘internationalisation strategy’.
An official said that as a new entity, the SBM Bank (India) Ltd will expand its Indian network by end-March 2020 with four more branches focusing on the mid-market segment comprising mid-corporate and higher-end SMEs, besides building its retail banking footprint in this country.
Targeting a business of Rs 5,000 crore over the next two years, the bank will support Indian companies investing in eastern Africa, given its strong presence in Kenya to facilitate India-Africa trade.