India’s State Bank to expand African footprint

by Trust Matsilele 0

Kumar, who is also the group executive for international banking, said his organisation, which has been in South Africa since 1997, will now extend its services beyond that of Indian expatriates and diaspora communities.

(WATCH VIDEOExploring India-Africa financial transactions)

“In South Africa, we started with one office in Johannesburg. Now we have about eight offices with three in Johannesburg and Durban respectively, one in Port Elizabeth and another one in Cape Town,” Kumar told CNBC Africa.

“When we started, our clients were basically South Africans with Indian origin, but now we are extending our focus to all South Africans.”

Kumar said the asset book for the bank in South Africa, as of last June, was about 4.5 billion rand.

“It has taken us about 15 years to stabilise in South Africa but over the last few years, we have managed to stabilise,” he said.

“We have an ambition to grow in South Africa and we believe the time is right to diversify our book from the Indian community to host communities where we are doing business.”

Kumar noted that unlike its BRICS partner China, India is still a developing country and has a lot of domestic issues that require attention before the country can aggressively expand its global footprint.

The State Bank of India has been in existence for over 200 years now, in the international arena for about 60 years and is also the largest commercial bank in India in terms of assets, deposits, profits, branches, customers and employees.

The group has an extensive network, with over 20,000 branches in India and another 186 offices in 34 countries across the world. International banking currently contributes about 17 per cent to the bank’s total income.