SBI, BoI allowed to operate in Pakistan

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SummaryNational Bank of Pakistan and privately-owned United Bank Ltd. will be running full-banking operations across the border, once licensed by India.

India and Pakistan have agreed to allow two banks each from both the countries to set up branches across the border, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Yaseen Anwar said on wednesday.

"We have held discussions with the Reserve Bank of India and both sides have agreed to issue a full banking licence to two banks of each country," Anwar told PTI on the sidelines of a conference organised by Institute of South Asian Studies.

The two Indian banks that will be allowed to operate in Pakistan are State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of India (BoI).

On the other hand, quasi-state owned National Bank of Pakistan and privately-owned United Bank Ltd. will be running full-banking operations across the border, once licensed by India.

"It will take few months to approve Indian banks' licences on receiving them," he said.

"We are ready to go tomorrow to India" to set up banking operations, Anwar said.

Discussions have been held with RBI Governor D Subbarao to issue banking licences, he said, adding that the process will help normalise trade relations between India and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials from the Bank of India in Singapore have recently visited Karachi for setting up an office in Pakistan, said Syed Hasan Javed, Pakistan High Commissioner to Singapore.

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