Emirates NBD, Dubai's biggest lender by assets, has opened two new “full service” branches in India to expand its footprint in Asia’s third largest economy.
The lender opened the new branches in Gurugram and Chennai, adding to its branch in Mumbai which opened in 2017, Emirates NBD said in a statement on Monday.
“Backed by an investment of $300 million, the expansion demonstrates the group’s commitment to India as a key growth market against the backdrop of strong bilateral ties between the two countries,” the lender said.
The UAE and India are strengthening their trade and economic relationship. Earlier this year, the two countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) to remove most trade barriers and help boost non-oil trade between the two countries to $100 billion in five years from $60bn currently.
“Our new strategically located branches will offer improved geographical coverage, allowing us to cater to both the northern and southern markets of India, thus enabling ease of banking including smoother trade financing and fund and non-fund-based facilities for customers,” said Emirates NBD's group chief executive Shayne Nelson.
Emirates NBD, which reported a 51 per cent surge in third-quarter net profit, has operations in a number of countries including the UAE, its home market, as well as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Egypt, the UK and India.
It also has a presence in Turkey, Austria and Germany through DenizBank, which it acquired in 2019.
“Emirates NBD’s India branch operations are already delivering a promising start, and we maintain ambitious aspirations for the future,” Emirates NBD’s vice chairman and managing director Hesham Al Qassim said.
India's economy is expected to grow by 6.8 per cent this year after expanding by 8.7 per cent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The South Asian nation's economy is projected to grow 6.1 per cent next year.
The UAE economy made a strong rebound from the coronavirus pandemic-induced slowdown last year and the pace of economic momentum has continued to improve this year on the back of government initiatives and higher oil prices.
The country's economic output, which expanded 3.8 per cent in 2021, is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent and 4.2 per cent in 2022 and 2023, respectively, according to the latest projections from the UAE Central Bank.
Emirates NBD recently raised its UAE growth forecast to 7 per cent in 2022, due to a higher estimate for the energy industry's output and the “robust growth” of its non-oil sector, setting up the country for its fastest annual expansion since 2011, when output grew by 6.9 per cent.
Indian expatriates constitute a third of Emirates NBD’s customers and the lender has facilitated 2.5 million remittances to India worth nearly $2bn in 2022 through its DirectRemit service, it said in the statement.