India, South Korea state banks sign business partnership

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South Korea’s state-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest commercial lender to form a business partnership, KDB said Thursday.

KDB said that the signing ceremony was held in Mumbai, India, earlier this month between SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharaya and KDB’s chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), Lee Dong Geol.

Under the MOU, a Korea desk will be installed in the Indian bank, offering service in syndicated loans, project financing, trade finance and derivatives business.

“The Korea desk will be a bridge to entering the Indian market and help us expand our global network as we plan to support Korean companies in India and establish business with local blue chips,” said a KDB official.

SBI said that the banks would enhance cooperation in areas including corporate finance, project finance and asset finance. “Asset finance includes (but not limited to) trade finance, cash management products, syndicated loans, infrastructure/real estate financing, capital markets, securitisation, derivatives and risk management, financial advisory services and acquisition finance,” it explained.

The partnership is part of KDB’s efforts to expand its global footprint under “Global KDB” since Dong-Geol took office early this year. The bank is allocating US$1.7bn to help Korean companies win more export orders.

Separately, SBI reported that its net profit for the second quarter of 2016 fell to 25.2bn rupees (INR) from INR36.9bn in Q2 2015. The bank has been hit by bad loans to infrastructure, steel and power companies and has had to make further provisions to cover stressed assets.

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