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Monday, November 13, 2006

Bank of India to spend $10m on its new Dar branch

The Bank of India will open a new subsidiary in Tanzania in a move to spread its overseas operations in the East African market.

The bank, which has a branch in Kenya, will put in an initial investment of $10 million in the Tanzanian operation mid this month.

The bank's executive director, Ramchandra Kamath, told The EastAfrican from Mumbai, India, that the bank would set up a subsidiary in Tanzania and open a new branch in the country as well. The Tanzania subsidiary was earlier expected to be operational in September this year.

Mr Kamath said the bank would also set up an office in Johannesburg that will have substantial exposure in the diamond and jewellery business for which the Belgium office will become a major facilitator.

"We plan to open representative offices in Doha and Tanzania and upgrade our already existing representative offices in Shenzhen in China to a branch office," he said.

Almost 20 per cent of Bank of India's business turnover comes from its international business. It has 23 branches and offices abroad, including major centres such as London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Vietnam, Shenzhen and Jakarta.

The bank is raising funds to meet its global credit needs, external commercial borrowing requirements and also expand overseas balance-sheet. It also plans to raise around $250 million to fund its international operations.

Last year, the bank raised around $300 million for international operations in Asia, Europe, Africa and exploring options in the Middle East.

Branch expansion and capital raising aside, the bank is also tweaking its operational efficiencies in its foreign offices.

The core-banking platform will provide the bank with a unified view of its international business, with better risk management capability, enhanced MIS and a uniform customer experience.

The bank has opted for this technology solution at a time when it plans to open 16 new overseas branches.

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