UAE forex firm 'to apply for Indian banking licence'

UAE Exchange reportedly aims to start operating in India within 18 months

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

UAE Exchange, one of the largest foreign exchange firms in the United Arab Emirates, has applied for a banking licence, it has been reported.

The firm, which already has 328 branches and 44,000 agents in India, has applied to the Reserve Bank of India for a banking licence, the Gulf Daily News reported.

"We have been present in India since 1999 and also have strong presence in other countries, from where Indian expatriates send money to their families in India," UAE Exchange managing director and chief executive Dr BR Shetty was quoted as saying.

"We think it is a great opportunity to now service the Indian clients besides the Indian expatriate community. If we are given the licence, we would be able to start our banking operations effectively within the stipulated time of 18 months," he added.

Last year, UAE Exchange sold a 40 percent stake to Centurion Investment in a deal said to be worth $2bn. UAE Exchange is one of the oldest exchange houses in the UAE with 99 branches. It also has 560 branches in 29 other countries.

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