ICICI bank has inaugurated its branch in Doha, the first by an Indian bank in Qatar.
India's second largest bank and the country's biggest private money lender opened its office at the Qatar Financial Centre on Friday.
The bank has a strong presence in the region. It had set up the Dubai representative office in October 2003. The bank enhanced its presence in Dubai by setting up a wealth management branch in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in December 2005.
Operations at the Bahrain offshore banking unit commenced in October 2004 following the granting of license from the Bahrain Monetary Agency with a special permission to provide NRI banking services.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer KV Kamath told reporters that the Doha branch is the 18th outside India.
"This is a part of our focus to build up our international presence," he was quoted as saying in Peninsula newspaper.
The bank is targeting non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Indian businesses. The licence given by the QFC is a Category 4 one but allows for credit facilities and investments.
The bank's overseas operations now account for 18 per cent of its global balance sheet, a figure that should go up to 25 per cent over the next few years.
Kamath stated Bahrain is a money-spinner for ICICI Bank as far as revenues are concerned and accounts for 22 per cent of the income from international operations. ICICI bank has USD four billion to USD4.5 billion in assets in Bahrain.