State Bank of India targets small, medium-size Japanese firms to invest in country

Staff Report

The State Bank of India sees great opportunity in Japan and hopes to lure small and medium-size Japanese companies to invest in India, SBI Chairwoman Arundhati Bhattacharya said in Yokohama on Friday.

“There is no doubt that we want to improve our Japan strategy,” Bhattacharya said. She and other SBI delegates were visiting Yokohama to attend the 2017 Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting.

“The reason our Japan operation will be expanding is that we believe India has lots of opportunity for Japanese SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises),” she added.

SBI, which currently has two branches in Japan, established its first in Tokyo in 1980 and its second in Osaka in 1984.

The bank has since grown, with its Japan operations currently holding a total of $4.4 billion in outstanding loans and boasting a profit of $1.3 million in the year ended March.

SBI has signed memorandums of understanding with 20 Japanese banks to help them expand into India and other countries. It is also strengthening its localization business, whose purpose is to lend money to non-Indian companies for businesses unrelated to the country.

To strengthen the bank’s Japan-related businesses in India, it has created a Japan desk there that is able to dispense timely information to Indian customers interested in Japan.

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