Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest banks in terms of profit, market capitalisation and customer deposits, on Thursday opened its first branch in Mumbai.
Initially, the bank, whose total assets stood at more than $2 trillion and profit after tax at over $25 billion at the end of 2010, will focus on corporate banking and on Chinese companies operating in India. The bank will later focus to roll out investment, private and personal banking services.
"Mumbai branch will build up partnership with Chinese enterprises in India, support the local telecommunication, transportation, power and other infrastructure construction, extend the financial service to heavy machinery, automobile and other industries," said Yang Kaisheng, vice chairman and president, ICBC. "Establishment of ICBC's maiden branch in India not only shows the bank's confidence in the prospect of Indian economic development, but also indicates the bank's commitment to building up the commercial bridge between the two countries," he added.
The bank got Reserve Bank of India's approval to open the branch on May 16 this year. There are currently 37 foreign banks in India with 320 branches, where United Kingdom headquartered Standard Chartered Bank has the highest number (96) of branches, according to data from the RBI.
ICBC will also help Indian firms raise Yuan-denominated bonds. "If there is demand from Indian companies, we will be ready to provide such services (Yuan-denominated bonds)," said Kaisheng replying to a question.
The Chinese lender offers services to more than 260 million personal customers and 4.12 million corporate clients through its network of over 16,000 branches at home and abroad and 1,500 correspondent banks. As of now, ICBC has 220 branches and outlets in 30 counties and regions outside China.