Free Press Journal

Doha Bank plans to double India exposure, to open new branches



Hyderabad: Qatar-based Doha Bank today said it plans to open more branches in India and double exposure to USD 5 billion in next three years. “As on date, our exposure is USD 2.3 billion (in Indian market) and we want to take it to USD 5 billion in next three years,” Doha Bank CEO R Seetharaman told reporters here.

“Once we convert (set up) into a subsidiary (in India) we can have our footprints,” he added. The bank got a licence last year and inaugurated its first branch in Mumbai, then acquired two branches of HSBC Bank Oman in Mumbai and Kochi, the CEO said, adding that it needs to integrate them and sees a growing opportunity.

Elaborating on the plans, he said, “Next step should be organic or acquisition… it could be anything. At this point of time it is very premature for me to say.” He further said, “India is growing and needs more banks. The country is grossly under-banked and under-capitalised… so we want to facilitate the remittances, investments and trade.”

“We are going to scale up in different pockets of India… growing markets, places like Hyderabad. Of course, we want to increase our footprints in the medium and long term. We have to fulfill our obligations to the regulators in Qatar as well as in India,” the CEO said.

“We want to be in both the states — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We also want to be in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Kerala,” he said without specifying on the number of branches to be opened. Seetharaman, is in the city to attend a programme on ‘Bilateral Trade Opportunities between India, Qatar and Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)’, organised by Doha Bank in association with Andhra Chamber of Commerce.

He said GCC-India bilateral trade is more than USD 130 billion and of this Qatar-India bilateral trade is close to USD 16 billion.