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Greece’s Eurobank Eyes Presence in India

Eurobank India
Eurobank aims to foster strong ties with India. Credit: AMNA

Greece’s Eurobank is looking to establish a presence in India and is in the process of consulting with advisors and the Reserve Bank of India to open a representative office in Mumbai, the Economic Times reports.

With 80.5 billion euros of assets and 540 branches across Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and UK, the bank, which has a robust corporate client-focused business in these countries, aims to serve the needs of Indian businessmen looking for a commercial presence in Europe.

Eurobank has been designated as a Significant Institution since the entry into force of European Banking Supervision in late 2014, and as a consequence is directly supervised by the European Central Bank.

During the official visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to India two Greek bankers were among the business delegation that accompanied him: Fokion Karavias, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eurobank Holdings and Alexander Sarrigeorgiou, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the Eurolife ERB Insurance Group, the insurance branch of Eurobank, whose the main shareholder is Fairfax Financial of the Indo-Canadian investor, Prem Watsa.

Eurobank for instant payments between Greece and India

The two Greek bankers announced cooperation agreements with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and LTI Mindtree, of the Larsen & Toubro group (L&T) respectively.

Based on the memorandum of cooperation they signed, Eurobank will be connected to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), so that it becomes a channel for instant payments between Greece and India.

UPI has been hailed as the revolutionary product in the payment system, and thanks to the Instant Payment Service (IMPS), India has emerged as the world’s leading country in real-time payments in the retail sector.

After examining and determining a number of technological and regulatory issues, UPI will operate through Eurobank in Greece, facilitating transactions between Greek and Indian businesses, while Indian tourists visiting Greece are also expected to benefit, as well as workers who already or are about to reside in Greece, with the transactions being credited immediately.

The importance of fostering strong ties for mutual growth and prosperity between Greece and India was underlined by Eurobank’s Deputy CEO, Stavros Ioannou, during an event organized in Athens last November.

“True to its commitment to leadership, Eurobank invests in expanding its international footprint and seeks to strengthen mutually beneficial economic relationships with dynamic, fast-growing economies such as India,” Ioannou said.

“This is the vision that our Bank wishes to serve. Capitalizing on the Group’s strong presence in Greece and Cyprus, Eurobank has the experience and the expertise to support Indian businesses seeking access to the European Union,” he added.

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