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FirstRand to infuse additional capital

FRThe Indian unit of South African bank FirstRand Bank is bringing in Rs 120 crore of capital to bolster its balance sheet. According to Rohit Wahi, CEO and country manager of the bank, the capital base of the bank would now go up to about Rs 390 crore. The capital infusion is being done to compensate for the partial erosion of capital following losses during the past few years as well as building its retail banking infrastructure in the country. FirstRand Bank started operations in India five years ago and has operated mainly in the corporate and investment banking side of the business, concentrating on the India-Africa trade corridor. Wahi said the bank is also focussed on financial inclusion and has about 45,000 customers who are being served through business correspondents. The bank intends to focus on the Mumbai and Thane regions for its financial inclusion and retail business, he said. While remaining a single branch operation till now, it will evaluate the scope for further expansion in the future based on the experience it garners from this pilot project.

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