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Bank of Baroda expands in Africa with new Uganda branch


Kampala : The state-run Bank of Baroda (BOB), which calls itself India’s international bank, Thursday opened its 11th branch in Uganda as part of its renewed focus on the African continent.

The financial powerhouse, which already has a presence in several African countries such as Botswana, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, is already among the top five such institutions in Uganda, with plans for further expansion, top officials here said.

“Strategically, Africa has been a very important market for our bank. First we have been here for over 50 years. And second, we see a substantial growth for African economies,” chairman and managing director M.D. Mallya, here for the inauguration, told IANS.

“In Uganda, for example, this is our 11th branch now and four of these were added in the past two years. We have similar expansion plans in countries like Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania,” Mallya added.

The branch was inaugurated by Bank of Uganda Governor Prof. E.T. Mutebile. The location itself has an India connection — the mall where the new branch has opened is called the Tirupati Ovino Market at Kisenyi in central Kampala.

According to Pramod Kumar Gupta, managing director of the bank’s Uganda operations, the operations in the east African country here grew significantly last year despite global recession and inflation.

The net profit was $9 million for 2010 against $6 million for 2009.

“Rising inflation is not a phenomenon that will last forever and we will certainly raise to the challenge,” Gupta had told a press conference here last week, during which he had also announced the launch date for the new branch.

Bank of Baroda’s subsidiary is also listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange since Nov 14, 2002. Otherwise, it started operations in this country 1953 as an overseas branch the Indian parent and was duly incorporated as a separate entity in 1969.

According to Bank of Baroda officials, the institution has a significant international presence with a network of 85 branches and offices in 26 countries. The Bank also has a Joint Venture in Zambia with 12 branches.

Thery said the bank was also pursuing an ambitious overseas expansion plan was in the process of identifying more centers for increasing its global presence to serve its 37 million global customers in still better way.