National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has reportedly become the first UAE lender since 1980 to be granted an Indian banking licence.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that NBAD would begin operations in India this year, with an Indian bank expected to be allowed to setup in the UAE in return.
State Bank of India is frontrunner for the UAE licence, sources told the newswire.
The news follows plans outlined by NBAD CEO, Alex Thursby, last year to expand into eight foreign banking centres, including Mumbai.
Trade between India and the UAE reached $68.5 billion last year, making the world’s largest democracy the UAE’s number one trading partner, according to Bloomberg.
Mashreq and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank are the only Emirati lenders with Indian licenses, they began operations in 1980.