ICICI Bank opens branch in New York

March 1st, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 1 (IANS) ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, has entered the US by opening its first branch in New York. K.V. Kamath, managing director and chief executive officer, and Sonjoy Chatterjee, executive director of the bank, announced here Friday that the branch will start operating from Monday at midtown Manhattan.

On the occasion, Kamath rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, where it is listed.

Under the licence granted by regulators here, the bank will initially provide services to corporate customers, but it will get into general retail banking three months down the line.

“New York has the deepest pool of capital, and by operating here, we will grow our business,” Kamath said.

The bank will service the various opportunities arising out of India’s growth momentum and its trade relationship with the US, he added.

Chatterjee, responsible for corporate and international banking at ICICI, said the bank was authorised to serve the retail needs of about 100,000 Indians in the US on H1B work visas.

ICICI Bank won approval last October from the US Federal Reserve to convert its representative office in New York to a full-fledged branch.

The branch would engage in wholesale banking business, including trade financing and factoring services to US-based subsidiaries of Indian firms.

Mumbai-based ICICI Bank has consolidated total assets of about $115 billion (Rs.4,589.5 billion) as of Dec 31, 2007, and a market capitalisation of over $30 billion. It is India’s second largest bank after State Bank of India, which has many branches in the US.

ICICI, which opened a branch Thursday in Germany, now has presence in 19 countries, including three wholly owned subsidiaries in Britain, Russia and Canada.

The bank also has an offshore banking unit in Singapore, an advisory branch in Dubai, branches in Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Belgium, Qatar, Germany and representative offices in China, UAE, Bangladesh, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

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