India's HDFC Bank has unveiled plans to foray into Bahrain by the middle of the year, following Bank of Baroda's re-entry into the Kingdom after 18 years.
According to a media report, HDFC Bank announced plans to raise $ 1 billion through a medium-term note issue to fund its overseas expansion plans, beginning with Bahrain.
Bahrain has been the hunting ground of Indian banks since there are 300,000 Indians working in the Gulf state and the country's authorities are liberal in issuing news licences.
BoB and HDFC joined the list of Indian banks eyeing Bahrain. India's leading bank - State Bank of India and the country's largest private sector bank, ICICI, already have operations in Bahrain.
Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Bahrain, Anwar Al Sadah, said a large number of banks from India and across the globe are likely to commence operations here this year, Bahrain Tribune said in a report.
Anil K Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Baroda, who was in the Kingdom recently to oversee the new initiative, said the bank's return to Bahrain was a clear indication of the importance of the Gulf region in its overseas expansion plans.
Bank of Baroda also applied for a license in Qatar and is exploring avenues in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well.