India’s ICICI Bank has opened a branch in Johannesburg, its first in Africa. It is the first Indian private sector bank to open a branch on the continent.

“The opening of this new branch is a testimony to the strengthening trade relations between India and Africa over the last decade,” says Vijay Chandok, president of ICICI Bank.

To begin with, the branch will only undertake banking activities for corporates. It will provide financial assistance to Indian joint ventures and subsidiaries across Africa and offer trade finance and short term-funding for companies that have trade links with India.

“We believe that ICICI Bank, with its offices across major global centres including Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, Bahrain, New York and London, is well poised to cater to the banking requirements of Indian corporates having a presence in South Africa as well as the African continent, and the South African corporates that share active trade links with India,” Chandok adds.