India Factoring, a joint venture (JV) between Fimbank, Punjab National Bank, Italy’s Banca IFIS, and Blend Financial Services in India, has been launched at a ceremony attended by India’s union minister of state for finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena.

The JV received its certificate of registration from the Reserve Bank of India in late 2010, which permits it to commence business as a non-bank financial institution. It is now ready to offer factoring, forfaiting and other trade finance services to small and medium companies, as well as mid-market corporates in India.

The Mumbai-headquartered company will focus on manufacturing, trading exports and service industries. It has an authorised equity capital of Rs1bn, which in an official statement seen by GTR, is projected to increase to Rs4-5bn to sustain the growth of the business.

India Factoring has also become a member of the International Factors Group (IFG), which is a renowned international association of factoring companies.

Speaking at the ceremony held in mid-January, Shri K R Kamath, chairman of Punjab National Bank, said:”The launch of India Factoring reaffirms our commitment to Indian entrepreneurs at all levels. We believe that SMEs stand to benefit from products such as factoring.”

Malta-based Fimbank, which has a 49% controlling stake in the JV, is returning to the Indian market for the second time, having previously set up and run GTF India, before it sold it to the State Bank of India in 2008.