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ICICI Bank helpline for Bengal jewellery hub

Calcutta, Dec. 2: ICICI Bank will provide offshore banking unit (OBU) facilities to the entrepreneurs of Manikanchan, the country’s first greenfield special economic zone for gems and jewellery at Salt Lake.

“We will open a branch at Manikanchan soon. But the branch will not be an OBU. The entire business of Manikanchan will be routed through our OBU at the Santa Cruz Electronic Export Promotion Zone (SEEPZ) in Mumbai so that the jewellers get all the benefits of an OBU,” ICICI bank officials said.

ICICI Bank’s OBU offers a range of products to meet specific requirements of companies and individuals. The OBU will provide international finance at competitive rates, market-linked deposits in major currencies of various tenors and a host of other products.

The OBU also offers foreign currency deposits to NRIs providing competitive returns benchmarked to international markets. The OBU also provides them the flexibility to choose deposit products across varying maturities and interest rates.

To open an OBU, the bank needs to deposit $10 million as equity with the Reserve Bank of India. “We do not see any merit in opening another such OBU at Manikanchan now. We would like to offer the same facilities from our SEEPZ, Mumbai,” the officials added.

ICICI Bank’s OBU has state-of-the-art treasury and trade finance capabilities. It also offers transaction account services in the foreign currency to cater to its corporate clients.

“We expect to get good business from Manikanchan,” the officials said. ICICI Bank has been a project consultant for Manikanchan through I-win, a joint venture between ICICI and WBIDC.

Manikanchan, a project developed by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, has been set up at a cost of Rs 25 crore. There is a common facility centre and a standard design factory at Manikanchan.

Almost 70 per cent of the park has already been booked. Some of the leading jewellers of Calcutta, including P. C. Chandra, B. C. Sen, Senco Gold, Ramesh Chandra Parekh, have booked spaces in the park.

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