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State Bank of India shows interest in Ghana

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The State Bank of India (SBI) has indicated it wants to start banking business in Ghana.

The bank’s officials say it is planning to build subsidiaries in Ghana, Australia as well South Africa in some few years to come.

“The Australian market is promising as it has a good number of English-speaking people. Ghana and South Africa in the African continent are promising too”, Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman of SBI told the Indian news source the Economic Times (ET) today June 30, 2011.

According to the publication, the Bank is currently seeking clearance form the India government for its proposed rights issue to raise Rs 20,000 crore while it is going steady with its overseas expansion plans.

The rights issue is expected to happen by the end of December 2011.

Headquartered in Mumbai with an asset base of $352 billion and $285 billion in deposits as at 2010, the state-owned SBI, is the largest bank in India with a market share of about 20% in deposits and loans. It is also regarded as one of the largest financial institutions in the world.

It was established on July 1, 1955 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

It is not yet known why the bank wants to start business in Ghana but it is believed that Ghana and as a matter of fact Africa is becoming a new market for emerging economies like India.

Recently the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh announced a fresh $5 billion line of credit to Africa over the next three years to meet the continent’s development goals.

Dr Singh made the announcement at the plenary session of the Second India Africa Summit in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on May 24, 2011.

According to the BBC, India’s commerce with Africa is worth $40 billion a year and last year, the country’s imports from Africa were worth $20.7 billion, compared with $18.7 billion the previous year.

The AFP newswire says India’s exports to Africa stood at $10.3 billion in 2010.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana has indicated that it will no more issue licences for new banks for the time being.

By Ekow Quandzie

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