Italy’s export credit agency, Sace, is opening an office in Mumbai to further expand its India operations.

The new office will help Sace expand its €1bn portfolio in India and serve as a regional hub for its business in South Asia.

Raoul Ascari, chief operating officer at Sace, says: “We have established a very large pipeline with major Indian companies. Currently we are looking at transaction worth a couple of billion euros, in a quite broad range of sectors, ranging from automotive, to refineries, petrochemicals and SMEs skilled technologies. We are very excited about the potential of the Indian manufacturing and automotive sectors, and also renewable energy.”

India is the seventh emerging market in Sace’s portfolio, and accounts for nearly 80% of its new commitments made in Asia in 2011. The ECA is working on a pipeline of €2bn worth of projects (with expected commitments of €750mn), particularly in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

In October 2011, Sace and BNL India (part of BNP Paribas) signed an agreement to support export and internationalisation projects to enhance Italian presence in India. Through the agreement, BNL made available up to €100mn of new loans guaranteed by Sace to support Italian SMEs active in the country and facilitate financing for Indian buyers.