Bank of Baroda to open branch in Bahrain

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Dubai, Oct 21 (UNI) Bank of Baroda (BOB), the country's fifth largest bank, will now enter Bahrain as it has got licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to set up a wholesale branch there.

Bahrain will be the second Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to have the presence of an Indian bank.

''The CBB welcomes the return of Bank of Baroda to Bahrain,'' said Mr Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Bassam, Director, Licensing and Policy, at the CBB in a statement.

The business environment for wholesale banking is particularly attractive, given the economic boom taking place in the West Asia region and India, he said.

The BOB has six branches in the UAE and significant international presence with a network of 65 offices in 23 countries, including 43 branches of the Bank, 17 branches of its six subsidiaries and four representative offices in Malaysia, China, Thailand and Australia. It has a joint venture in Zambia with nine branches.

The wholesale banking industry represents 80.5 per cent of the consolidated assets of Bahrain's banking system, which stood at 220 billion dollars in August 2007, an increase of 32 per cent over the same period a year ago.

The new wholesale branch operation in Bahrain will target high net worth individuals and corporates in the region. Its main lines of business will be deposit products, loans and syndications, trade finance and structured products, treasury products and services as well as participating in debt market and private banking/wealth management services.

The BOB's total assets stood at 36.40 billion dollars for the fiscal ending March 2007, while net profit for the year amounted to 261 million dollars.

UNI

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