Doha Bank, one of the largest commercial banks of Qatar, is looking at the possibility of setting up a subsidiary in India, an top official of the bank today said.
"Our long-term view is to set up a full scale subsidiary for our Indian operations which is needed to enter more cities", Doha Bank CEO R Seetharaman told reporters here.
Presently, Doha Bank has three branches in India -- two in Mumbai and one in Kochi.
Seetharaman said that one of the Mumbai branches would be relocated to some other city within the country, adding that West Bengal is in its radar because of the substantial presence of SMEs in the state.
He said that the SMEs in India could take advantage of availing cheap credit from Doha Bank as 87 per cent of its lending is guaranteed by the Qatar government and also it is an 'A+' rated bank.
"As credit to the SME sector is unsecured, the risk was low for the bank due to sovereign guarantee", Seetharaman said.
The bank's exposure in India is USD 2 billion and is expected to touch USD 3 billion in the next three years, he added.
Doha Bank has also entered into an agreement with a chamber of the SMEs in Maharashtra.
Regarding West Bengal, he said that the bank would do due diligence for opening a branch in the state.
The bank would also interact with the SMEs in the state in collaboration with Bengal Chamber.
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