Singapore-headquartered DBS Group is expected to roll out more branches through a new wholly-owned subsidiary, DBS India, once final approvals come in over the next few weeks, Group Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta said on Friday.
It will take us a couple of months and I am hopeful that by October this year we can start the actual programme (of setting branches), once the final approvals comes in over the next couple of weeks, said Gupta.
The in-principle approval was received from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2017 to convert its existing India franchise to a locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary, he told PTI.
We are currently in 12 cities in India and our agenda is to get to about 30 cities over the next 12 to 18 months, said Gupta on the sidelines of DBS Asian Insights Conference 2018.
A new company, DBS India, has been set up, he said.
DBS remains bullish about the Indian economy and the banking sector, and the sector is expected to continue to grow at 1.5 to 2 times of the gross domestic product, he added.
DBS is a big project and infrastructure finance house, rated among the top three or four in Asia.
In India, one of our challenges is that we don't have access to low-cost long-term rupee funding," he said.
Therefore, when it comes to the dollar book, DBS could play a more active role than with the rupee book, he stressed when asked about infrastructure financing.
Commenting on the recent approval for Bank of China to set up operations in India, Gupta pointed out that banking sector penetration in India is low.
It is a big pie in a lot of areas where banks don't get into, added Gupta, stating that India's total financing needs are going to be very significant and, therefore, there is a lot of room for banks to play.