State Bank of India (SBI) has opened a branch in Yangon, Myanmar, becoming the first Indian bank to set up a branch in the neighbouring country.

The new branch extends SBI’s global presence to 37 countries, and represents the 54th foreign branch of the Indian lender.

SBI secured a banking licence to set up the Myanmar branch earlier in 2016. The new branch will mainly offer wholesale banking services to foreign corporates, and eventually aims to be an important link in trade and commerce between Myanmar and the world, SBI said.

SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said: "Operationalisation of our branch has revived the relationship of SBI with Myanmar even though SBI's association with Myanmar dates back to 1861, when the erstwhile Bank of Bengal operated its branch in Rangoon."

However, the operations of the branch were taken over by the Peoples’ Bank No. 8 of Burma in February 1963.

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