Doha Bank has been granted the licence to commence full-scale banking operations in India, chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani said yesterday. The bank will open a branch in Mumbai, India’s financial hub, to provide wholesale and retail banking, treasury and trade finance services.
Sheikh Fahad said Doha Bank’s entry into India was “in line with the expansion strategy adopted by the bank’s board of directors over the years with a view to expanding Doha Bank’s operations at the local, regional and international levels. The licence from the Reserve Bank of India to start operations in India is yet another milestone. We are the only Qatari Bank to obtain such a licence.”
He said the licence would further enhance the niche role Doha Bank was playing and facilitate enhanced trade between Qatar and India.
“The proposed branch will contribute to servicing a larger segment of bank’s customers in both countries and help our corporate customers in India to get the most benefit out through our representative offices located around the world.”
Sheikh Fahad also said Doha Bank would ensure compliance with the regulatory instructions of both the Qatar Central Bank and the banking supervisory authorities in India. Doha Bank’s board of directors and executive management will exert their utmost efforts to achieve all the desired goals from this opening up of branch in India, he added.
Sheikh Fahad offered sincere thanks and appreciation to HE the QCB Governor, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, and the RBI officials for the support the bank received until it finally obtained the licence.
Doha Bank managing director Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani said that the bank was the first Qatari Bank to have a full-scale operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and India.
“This new licence for opening a branch in India will not only add value to the bank but also enhance its capabilities in supporting all corporate and individual banking needs.”
Sheikh Abdul Rahman highlighted the fact that India has huge bilateral trade relationships not only with Qatar and the Gulf markets but also with most of the global locations where Doha Bank is already present through its 11 representative offices around the world. Hence the bank will be able to offer full-scale banking services to all the companies operating in these locations.
He further said Qatar-India bilateral annual trade stood around $16bn in 2013-2013. India is an emerging economy and there are huge growth opportunities available in the country’s infrastructure and other sectors.
“Hence we see huge potential for bringing additional value to Doha Bank shareholders through new operations in India and due to the strategic locations where Doha Bank operates, we will capture new investment opportunities,” Sheikh Abdul Rahman said.
Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman said there was a huge Indian population residing in Qatar and the entire GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. Various Indian companies are active in the country’s mega infrastructure projects.
“Therefore the licence we got to start our operations in India will pave the way for the bank to support all expatriates with the ‘best in class’ solutions, especially remittance through all our existing branches. Doha Bank has been supporting various Indian companies present in Qatar for their local banking needs. We wish to extend our services and facilities to the same companies for their operations in their home markets as well.” Gulf Times