India’s Federal Bank seeks foothold in Bahrain (Gulf Business Capsule)

April 30th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, April 30 (IANS) India’s Federal Bank is seeking regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open branches in Bahrain and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. As part of this move, the public sector bank has announced improved services to expatriate Indians in the Gulf and has tied up with Bahrain’s leading exchange house, Bahrain Financing Company, for extending its Fed Fast service, the fast fund transfer service from Gulf nations to India, the Bahrain Tribune reported.

The bank’s chairman M. Venugopalan and general manager Abraham Thariyan are currently on a visit to Bahrain to meet officials of major exchange companies and banks to explore new avenues for offering additional facilities to NRIs in that Gulf nation.

The bank already has a representative office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital of Abu Dhabi.

The newspaper quoted Venugopalan as saying that this was a part of the bank’s efforts to bridge the gap between India and the Gulf countries with customer friendly products and services leveraging on technology.

The bank has a sizeable presence in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Keralites form a large chunk of the 5.5 million expatriate Indian community in the Gulf.

Apart from Bahrain Financing Company, the bank already has remittance arrangements with Zenj Exchange Company and the Bahrain India International Exchange.


Qatar to have world’s largest aromatics plant

Qatar will have the world’s largest aromatics plant within two years and a multi-million dollar memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Qatar Holding Intermediate Industries Company, a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum, and South Korea’s Honam Petrochemical Corporation in this regard.

“We are giving a boost to the petrochemical industry by getting into production of aromatics besides increasing ethylene production,” the Gulf Times quoted Qatar Deputy Premier Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah as saying at the Mesaieed Industrial City where the new project is going to come up.

Besides aromatic compounds, the project will also see production of propylene, polypropylene, styrene and polystyrene.

Al-Attiyah said Qatar’s petrochemical production would scale up to 18 million tonnes a year by 2012.

Qatar, which has the world’s third largest gas reserves, is investing billions of dollars to build petrochemical plants to take advantage of surging global demand for plastics, solvents and ethylene, particularly in China and India.

Al-Attiyah said Qatar would become the world’s fourth largest producer of petrochemicals within five years.

“We have not classified aluminium or steel production under petrochemicals,” he said.


Airbus opens Middle East logistics centre in Dubai

Europe’s commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus has opened a material and logistics centre in Dubai to have greater proximity to its customers in the Middle East.

The Airbus Material and Logistics Centre in the Middle East has been officially opened at the Dubai Airport Free Zone in a ceremony attended by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Tom Enders, Airbus president and chief executive, according to an Airbus statement.

“With predicted passenger traffic growth of over six percent and cargo of five percent in the next 20 years, the Middle East will undergo one of the biggest aviation growth rates of anywhere in the world, so a world class logistics centre in the region is essential,” Enders said in the statement.

The opening of the new centre would give Airbus greater proximity to its customers in the region, and facilitate a quicker and more reactive response to their needs, according to the statement.

It would also reduce the time and cost in transporting spares.

The centre is located next to Dubai International Airport and covers over 3,700 sq mts of storage space and office facilities ensuring optimized logistics and efficiency.

It will stock more than 5,000 different parts with around 43,000 items at any one time, offering customer support and aircraft spares distribution to regional and worldwide destinations 24 hours a day.

The centre includes an avionics and electronics repair station and hosts a vendor village providing state-of-the-art business centre services as well as office and storage facilities for original equipment manufacturers to enable commercial and technical support with optimized delivery lead times.

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