ICICI Bank inaugurates its US office in New York

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New York, Mar 1: ICICI Bank, the second largest bank by assets and the largest private sector bank in India, has formally opened its branch here following the recent approval by US regulators to commence its operations in New York. K V Kamath, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, hailed the inaugural event held in midtown Manhattan yesterday.

''India's growth momentum and its trade relationship with the US have reached an inflexion point. ICICI Bank's entry into the US market provides it with a great platform to service the various opportunities arising from this paradigm shift,'' said Mr Kamath. Sonjoy Chatterjee, executive director, indicated that ICICI would try to become an international bank. ICICI currently has presence in 19 countries, including the US.

''The New York branch completes our strategy to be present across all major financial centers. Our initial focus will be on corporate cross-border opportunities and the local banking needs of Indians coming to work in the US. This is an exciting period for the bank as it pursues its aspiration to be a truly global bank,'' he said.

The branch is to channel investment activities of Indian companies in the US and those of US companies in India. It is planning to use its presence in New York to bolster its services to NRIs based in the US.

The New York branch, subject to US domestic guidelines, is to offer a suite of banking services such as working capital, acquisition finance, trade service and treasury solutions to corporate bodies and savings products to qualified individuals.

The bank's consolidated total assets as of December 31, 2007 were the equivalent of 115 billion dollars. Its market capitalisation is more than 300 billion dollars. The bank's subsidiaries include the country's leading private sector insurance companies and among its largest securities brokerage firms, mutual funds and private equity firms.

The bank officials such as Mr Kamath, Mr Chatterjee and G V S Ramesh, chief representative of the New York office were present. Others like Madhu Kannan, vice president, Global Corporate Client Group, NYSE-Euronext; Lawrence Leibowitz, group executive vice president, head of US markets and Global Technology, NYSE-Euronext; were also present when the New York Stock Exchange's closing bell was rung.

UNI

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