Global Chairman of Punjab National Bank India Mr. K.R. Kamath visited Kazakhstan during 8-10 september to formal launch PNB-Kazakhstan
Distinguished guests, members of the Indian Diaspora, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is an honour for me to welcome you all on the auspicious occasion of the inauguration of PNB branch at Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. This is a major landmark in the history of PNB and a movement further towards reinforcing our ties with Kazakhstan, which is today a dominant country in Central Asia apart from being ranked the ninth largest country in the world. We sincerely believe that with Kazakhstan’s economic growth and stable outlook, undoubtedly the branch will be a focal point and base to expand our banking footprints in CIS countries.
Friends, let me share with you India’s growth story. As the fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity with more than 4 trillion dollar GDP, it is the second fastest growing economy in the world with a real GDP growth of around 8.5% with the GDP likely to quadruple over a period of 10 years. We have many favorable factors to support us in the form of our huge demographic dividend, rising middle class, rising high net worth individuals, etc. Moreover, Indian companies have also been recognized as globally competitive and have been growing and making their impact felt outside India.
As far as relationship between India and Kazakhstan is concerned, the importance India attaches to Kazakhstan is evident from the fact that Honorable President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev graced our country’s Republic Day celebrations as the Chief Guest in 2009 and it was the first time for a leader from a Central Asian country to grace such an event.
Relations between India and Kazakhstan are ancient and historical and have always been warm and friendly. In fact, India was the first country outside CIS region visited by President Nazarbayev in 1992 after independence of Kazakhstan. Both the nations are engaged in one of the most significant bilateral trade and relationships in the world. They have sought to establish extensive cooperation and commerce in information technology, space research, banking and increasing volume of bilateral trade. Kazakhstan is the largest trade partner of India in Central Asia. Bilateral trade in 2010 was around USD 313.8 million, an increase of around 24 % over 2009 with both the Governments taking steps to boost the same in a big way. Recognizing the relations between the two nations, Punjab National Bank opened its Representative Office in Almaty as early as in 1998.
Punjab National Bank stands tallest among the Banks today in security, safety and success of Banking. It is backed by tradition of sound and prudent banking for the last 117 years which is very well proved by highly successful performance in India as well as overseas. Today, PNB ranks as the 2nd largest Bank in the country, in terms of network of 5286 outlets with all of them on Core Banking network. The bank enjoys sound fundamentals and has a consistent profit track record with its business being the largest among nationalized banks in India grossing USD126.847 Billion, as on 30.06.11. While the huge franchise value enjoyed by the Bank is reflected in its Customer base of 65 million, its leadership in technology is evident from its 5375 ATMs along with around 14.1 million card holders.
In appreciation of excellence in services, Bank has earned various awards and accolades namely Corporate Social Responsibility practices, transparent governance structure, best use of technology and good human resource management practices.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that the Bank bagged two prizes for corporate governance in one single year, viz. by Institute of Directors and by the SCOPE, with the latter recognizing PNB as the Public Sector Institution with Excellence in Corporate Governance and the award was given from the hands of Hon’ble President of India on april 10, 2010. These have led to the Bank being ranked at 186th position amongst world’s Top 1000 Banks and 653rd position in the “Forbes” list of 2000 largest companies in the world.
PNB has been successful in becoming the best networked bank in the entire Southeast Asian region. Our global expansion plans and our diversification plans have been as per our vision and mission and the Bank has been successful in running past the goal posts. The bank has set up an Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) at Mumbai, besides branches at Dubai, Kabul and Hong Kong and representative offices at Dubai, Almaty, Shanghai and Oslo. Bank has a wholly owned subsidiary PNB International Ltd. (PNBIL) in UK and a joint venture subsidiary Druk PNB Bank Ltd in Bhutan besides a joint venture with Everest Bank Ltd. (EBL) in Nepal. We are opening a Representative Office in Sydney, Australia on 15th of this month. The Bank is also pursuing the up-gradation of its presence in China and Norway besides seeking a presence in Canada, Bangladesh, Maldives, Brazil and Singapore.
The decision to open Astana branch is aimed at serving the people, the Indian diaspora in Kazakhstan and the corporate clients of both countries who are exploring overseas business opportunities. The branch will be assisting domestic Indian corporates in raising corporate and project finance for Kazakhstan and overseas ventures, along with the provision of trade related services to corporate clients. Similarly, the Branch will also be supporting global corporate houses wishing to conduct their business in India and the branch can leverage PNB’s domestic distribution network as well as its access to local (Indian) currency market to facilitate the same.
This Branch will also be facilitating Kazakhstan based NRIs and the Indian community settled here by enabling funds transfer facilities on a real time basis as well as by providing them with personalized services. Moreover, work permit holders would find it convenient to establish relationship with PNB as they will be offered Kazakhstan based bank accounts and related products and services even before their arrival in Kazakhstan. Other countries in CIS may also use our services to facilitate their exports to India.
I would like to conclude by assuring you that PNB Kazakhstan will make all efforts to provide you with the best and prompt services and to meet your financial needs. I can also assure you that your association with PNB will be a satisfying experience and will prove to be mutually beneficial. Like in India, PNB Kazakhstan will become the name you can BANK upon in the Kazakhstan as well.
I am confident that the corporate values which the bank stands for will also help PNB Kazakhstan to touch greater heights in its performance in the future.
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