State Bank of India (SBI) has opened its seventh branch in South Africa in the Laudium area near Pretoria, as it seeks to expand services to locals and expatriates.
At the inauguration of the new branch, Indian High Commissioner Virendra Gupta said South Africa is seen as a launch pad for investments in Africa and most of the big business houses of India have set up business here.
“The increasing trade between South Africa and India, growing political and economic ties between the two nations and the admission of South Africa into the BRICS community of nations have provided the impetus for SBI’s expansion in South Africa,” Gupta said.
SBI’s presence in South Africa started with the establishment of the Johannesburg branch in March 1996, followed by the opening of the Durban branch later that year, SBI Regional Head (Africa) M.G. Vaidyan, who was also present at the inauguration ceremony, said.
At present, SBI has six offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Lenasia, Chatsworth and Port Elizabeth.
He said SBI’s policy in South Africa focuses on recruitment of local talent, capacity building through intensive training and all-round personality development.
“SBI’s banking presence in the African continent, apart from South Africa, extends to Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt and Angola. SBI is also in the process of setting up its subsidiary bank in Botswana and is keenly looking to expand to other growing economies of the continent,” Vaidyan said.