16 Feb 2016 13:16 IST

SBI launches ‘Japan Desk’ for India-bound investments

SBI chief says NPAs expected to rise next quarter, hit profitability

State Bank of India (SBI) on February 16 launched the ‘Japan Desk’, a first-of-its-kind initiative to facilitate Japanese corporates looking to invest here with banking and advisory services.

This SBI Japan Desk will serve as a one-point comprehensive and reliable information support source for India-bound investments of Japanese companies.

Through the Japan Desk, SBI aims to be the window for inbound Japanese investments in India and vice-versa.

The Japan Desk -- to be based in New Delhi -- will facilitate in the establishment of banking relationship with Japanese corporates and Japanese nationals, provide information on industries, sectors etc.

Speaking on the occasion, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said the Japan Desk will serve as a one-stop shop for both Japanese companies looking to invest here and Indian companies exploring outbound investments into Japan.

Later, the SBI chief told reporters that SBI was also planning to set up another dedicated Japan Desk at Chennai.

There are also requests from South Korea to have a dedicated help desk and SBI may look at setting up a desk for that country also, she added.

On Non Performing Assets (NPAs), Bhattacharya said the pain is expected to continue in the fourth quarter as well, impacting bottomline.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Kenji Hiramatsu, Japan’s Ambassador to India said that Japanese corporates would appreciate SBI's support to expanding their businesses in India.

He, however, said that Japanese companies are keen to see more reform measures on the ground.

Areas that require focused attention are taxation, financial sector reforms, Hiramatsu added.