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ICICI Bank 'has achieved major milestones'

MANAMA: ICICI Bank, India's second largest bank, has achieved major milestones in Bahrain since it launched its operations in the country in October 2004, it has been revealed.

ICICI's Bahrain offshore banking unit (OBU) has built up a significant asset base in a short span of 18 months, said country head Ajay Sharma.

It has also raised deposits from banks and corporates within the GCC region, he told the GDN. The bank has attained a significant market share of the NRI retail business in Bahrain, said Mr Sharma.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company has also opened its subsidiary in Bahrain this year.

ICICI Bank also launched various value added services for its customers in Bahrain such as online remittances and the Visa debit card, Mr Sharma revealed.

It is now present in 13 countries and operates through wholly owned subsidiaries, branches and representative offices.

The bank continued to build on its existing presence in various geographies as well as enter new markets, Mr Sharma revealed. In addition to providing credit and trade finance solutions to Indian companies, ICICI was expanding its international retail franchise through technology-based banking services, he added.

The total asset size of the bank during the last financial year (ending March 31) has increased to about $56 billion, an increase of 50pc compared to the last financial year.

The profit after tax also increased by 27pc to about $569 million as compared to $449m last year. The year also saw a mega public equity issue of about $1.75bn.

The Bank has received several awards such as Bank of Year - 2005 by The Banker and Best Bank in India by Euromoney.

ICICI was listed amongst the top 50 companies in Asia by Forbes, said Mr Sharma. Business Today has adjudged ICICI Bank as the Fastest Growing Bank in India.

ICICI Bank, said Mr Sharma , was one of the top three banks in the Best Private Bank in Asia Pacific Region category at the 15th Private Banker International Wealth Conference in Singapore, 2005.



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