Westpac announced that it will open its first branch in India.
The Australian bank has received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India for a foreign banking licence to operate in India. The Indian licence allows the bank to now carry out rupee-denominated transactions.
Westpac has been operating a representative office in India for the past five years.
The bank's first branch in India will open in Mumbai, said Rob Whitfield, Group Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank.
"India is Australia's fifth largest trading partner and fourth largest export market so it is a very important market for our customers," he added.
He said that extending presence in India through Mumbai branch will position the bank to supportAustralian customers with their trade and investment activities in India, and Indian customers withtheir increasing trade and investment flows with Australia.
"It will also help deepen investment flows with one of our major strategic trading partners,particularly in the energy, natural resources and agribusiness sectors...," Whitfield said.
Westpac's General Manager of Asia, Yogan Rasanayakam was quoted by 'The Australian' report as saying that the Indian branch would primarily focus on trade finance, working capital and foreign exchangetransactions.
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