HDFC Bank gets license for Bahrain operations

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Dubai, Nov 27 (UNI) The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has granted a licence to India's second largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank, to establish a wholesale banking branch operation in Bahrain.

The Bahrain operation will be HDFC Bank's first branch outside India.

The Bahrain branch of HDFC Bank will undertake trade finance, wholesale deposit products, loan syndication as well as wealth management.

''The CBB welcomes HDFC Bank to Bahrain,'' said CBB (Director, Licensing and Policy) Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Bassam.

Growth opportunities for financial institutions operating between the GCC and India are tremendous, with many GCC banks undertaking multi-billion dollar projects in India, he said in a statement.

On their part, Indian banks can take advantage of the unprecedented growth taking place in Bahrain and the broader Middle East region, which is attracting heavy investment by Indian investors.

''The GCC region and India are among the fastest growing regions in the world, today, and financial institutions willing to take first-mover advantage stand to benefit considerably,'' said Mr Al Bassam.

The Bank was incorporated in 1994 by Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Ltd, a premier Indian housing finance company established in 1977.

HDFC Bank also undertakes wholesale banking and treasury operations. Major shareholders of the Bank include HDFC Ltd and other investors. Total assets of the Bank stood at 21.2 billion dollars at the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.


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