Mumbai: The State Bank of India today announced its entry into Myanmar by opening a branch in the capital city of Yangon, becoming the first domestic lender to do so. The Yangon branch is the 54th foreign branch of the nation’s largest lender, chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, who opened the office, said in a statement here today.
This branch extends the global presence of SBI in 37 countries through 198 offices, she said. Bhattacharya, who became the first chairman to get a second term at SBI last Saturday, said: “SBI has been associated with Myanmar since 1861, when the erstwhile Bank of Bengal operated its branch in the then Rangoon. Later, as part of bank nationalisation, the operations of the Rangoon branch of SBI were taken over by the Peoples’ Bank of Burma in February 1963.”
The Myanmarese central bank earlier this year allowed SBI to open a branch with the primary objective of extending wholesale banking services to foreign corporates. India has been a major trading partner of Myanmar for centuries. Since the signing of India and Myanmar trade agreement in 1970, bilateral trade has been growing steadily and rose from USD 328 million in 1997-98 to USD 2.052 billion in 2015-16. Bhattacharya also donated equipment for recreation of cancer-surviving children to the Yangon Children’s Hospital. Ghanshyam Srivastava has been appointed as the chief executive of SBI Yangon branch.