Indian bank opens first branch in Johannesburg

canara bank suma flickrCanara Bank is keen to invest in Africa's mining, agriculture and retail sectors. (Image source: Suma/Flickr)India’s Canara Bank has opened its first branch in South Africa’s Johannesburg and has plans to expand to other African countries as well

Rajiv Kishore Dubey, MD of Canara Bank, said, ”We have wanted to open the South Africa branch for a very long time but didn't get the required approvals. Now, we wish to open another branch in Durban.”

Canara Bank, headquartered in Indian city of Bangalore, has 4,750 branches across India and has offices in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bahrain, the UAE and Russia.

The bank is keen to invest in sectors like mining, agriculture and retail in Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique and Rwanda. Brazilian and Nigerian markets have been earmarked too. Much like in India, rural and semi-rural areas of Africa are on the bank’s radar for expansion, sources said.

Though the bank admitted that positive relations between South Africa and India partly influenced the bank’s move to open a branch in the African continent, Dubey said that raising capital was one of the biggest challenges they faced.

He also added that the survival of any bank is determined by the resilience of an enterprise, given the tough financial environments in hubs like London and Hong Kong.

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