SBI aims at $250 mn business in Sri Lanka

March 24th, 2008 - 1:00 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, March 24 (IANS) Indian banking titan State Bank of India (SBI) hopes to do business of the order of $250 million in Sri Lanka in the coming three years. The bank already has a balance sheet size of $150 million, though it has only four branches - three in Colombo city and one in the hill town of Kandy - a company source said.

“Over the last three years, there has been a 50 percent growth, and the profit is of the order of $3.80 million,” the source said.

Worldwide, in 2006-07, SBI had assets totalling $130.33 billion, total deposits of $100.19 billion and a net profit of $1.04 billion.

In its Sri Lankan operations, the Net Non-Performing Assets (NPA), in both the Domestic Banking Unit (DBU) and the Foreign Currency Banking (FCBU), have always been less than two percent.

The SBI began its operations in Sri Lanka way back in 1864, and is the island’s oldest bank.

In its previous avatar as the Imperial Bank of India, it funded the operations of the Ceylon government, and the then-nascent tea industry. Today, as SBI, it is aggressively into financing the working capital needs of the Sri Lankan corporate sector, even as it has strengthened its traditional hold on the financing of exports and imports, especially Sri Lanka-India trade.

Colombo is currently hosting a two-day conference of SBI branches in the south Asian region.

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