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Korean Woori Bank opens first India branch in Chennai

Seoul-headquartered, South Korean Government-owned Woori Bank has opened its maiden India branch in Chennai with a capital of $35 million.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 18, 2012, 07.39 PM IST
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CHENNAI: Seoul-headquartered, South Korean Government-owned Woori Bank has opened its maiden India branch in Chennai with a capital of $35 million.

Mr Soon Woo Lee, president and CEO of the bank, told ET via a translator, "We will provide assistance to Korean companies that have entered the market ahead of us. Once that is done, we will focus on localisation, accommodating the needs of the India companies and customers."

He said the bank was on the verge of starting operations in 2007 but had to put it off after the global financial crisis struck.

Chennai houses more than 170 Korean companies, including big names such as Hyundai Motors, Lotte and Samsung. Apart from this, many local Indian vendors in Chennai are working together with Korean companies. The number of Koreans in Chennai has also doubled in the last three years. It has gone up to 4,000 from 1,500.

A lot of Korean shops and restaurants have also emerged in and around Sriperumbudur, the industrial hub.

"Two Korean firmsDoosan and Mando are opening operations in India and they focus on infrastructure. We see the opportunity in taking up state or government projects through them," said Lee.

Moo Soo Kim, chief executive officer of the bank's Indian operations, said," The opening of Woori Bank will also ensure that there is mutual development and cooperation between Korea and India. We would also be of good support in the local development of Tamil Nadu with the help of Korean firms."

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