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Mashreq explores presence in India’s new economic zone

Mashreq has injected over $125 million so far into India, signalling its readiness to invest further Reuters/Mosab Omar
Mashreq has injected over $125 million so far into India, signalling its readiness to invest further

UAE lender Mashreq is exploring setting up an office in India’s special economic zone, according to a media report.

The bank is exploring opportunities beyond its current footprint, Tarek El Nahas, group head of international banking at Mashreq told Moneycontrol, an Indian financial news portal.

The prospect of setting up a presence in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (Gift City) has been gaining traction as other international banks make similar moves, he said. 

Gift City could serve companies outside India, and a thorough analysis is ongoing regarding this potential move, the report said. 

The lender has injected over $125 million in capital so far into India, signalling its readiness to invest further. The team has grown to 47 members from 20 to 25 a couple of years ago, with plans to increase the headcount to over 55 by the end of the year.

Mashreq aims for double-digit annual growth in India. Its compound annual growth rate in the Indian wholesale banking sector has been around 20-25 percent over the past few years. 

“There’s no reason why we can’t maintain or exceed this going forward,” El Nahas told the news portal.

In February Reuters reported that Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the UAE’s largest sovereign wealth fund, was planning to set up a $4 billion to $5 billion fund in Gift City.

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