SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – The State Bank of India (SBI), the southern Asian country’s No. 1 commercial bank, said Wednesday it opened a branch in Seoul in line with growing exchanges between the two nations.
The branch, located in downtown Seoul, is the Indian bank’s first in South Korea, though the institution set up a representative office in Seoul in 2013.
The Seoul branch is to provide a wide range of services, with the focus on corporate financing for Indian companies planning to come here and for Korean firms operating in India, according to its officials.
It also aims to expand its realm to loan services and project financing, among others, they added.
SBI’s advance into the Korean market is the result of a surge in transactions between the two countries following the implementation of the bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) in 2010.
According to the data by the Indian government, the total trade volume between the two came to US$18 billion, an 8.71 percent increase from a year earlier.
“I believe we can create value here in the Korean market based upon our long-time experiences of helping Indian firms in other foreign markets and global companies’ making inroads into India,” SBI’s vice chairman B. Sriram said.
Established in 1806 and headquartered in Mumbai, the Indian government-owned corporation operates 16,333 outlets at home and 194 branches in 36 nations. It held assets of US$327.6 billion as of the end of March.
Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Exim Bank) said it has raised the ceiling on its relending facilities for SBI to $1 billion from $700 million, a move expected to help Korean companies export more to the region.
Under the relending facility program, Exim Bank extends a credit line to overseas financial institutions in support of financing their clients’ imports of Korean goods.’