Country's largest lender SBI on Wednesday said it has raised an additional USD 1 billion (around Rs 7,350 crore) loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to help COVID-hit Japanese auto manufacturers in India.

In October 2020, SBI had signed an agreement to raise a loan of USD 1 billion and the latest borrowing takes the total quantum of loans raised from JBIC to USD 2 billion, SBI said in a statement.

The loan is in the form of refinance against the funding support provided to the manufacturers, suppliers and dealers of Japanese automobiles in India, whose business activities are recovering from reduced sales due to COVID-19, it said.

It is intended to promote smooth flow of funds for the whole range of business operations of Japanese automobile manufacturers in India, the statement said.

JBIC is a policy-based financial institution, wholly owned by the Japanese government, with the objective of contributing to the sound development of Japan, the international economy and society, it said.

"At a time when people are preferring personal mode of transport, this collaboration between SBI and JBIC will help the bank in extending loan facility to entire supply chain of Japanese automobile industry including suppliers, dealers and ultimately to the end users," SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara said.

A slew of Japanese companies dominate the Indian auto sector, including Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar and Honda.

A virtual agreement signing ceremony was held in the presence of Khara, senior executives of SBI, JBIC's deputy governor Hayashi Nobumitsu, and Maruti Suzuki's chief executive and managing director Ayukawa Kenichi, it said.

The financing will assist in 'Make in India' initiative as well, the statement said.

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