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Jan 22, 2011, 12.26 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Indian Bank moves into Sri Lanka's old war zone

Indian Bank on Friday opened a branch in Sri Lanka's city of Jaffna, in the former northern war zone, aiming to get a piece of the growing post-war reconstruction lending pie.

Indian Bank moves into Sri Lanka's old war zone

Indian Bank on Friday opened a branch in Sri Lanka's city of Jaffna, in the former northern war zone, aiming to get a piece of the growing post-war reconstruction lending pie.

Indian Bank is the second foreign bank in Jaffna out of a total of 16 banks that have opened branches there since the end of a 25-year civil war in May 2009.

"This is branch for the people to grow economically, especially in the agricultural sector," said T M Bhasin, the chairman and managing director.

Sri Lanka's government is aiming to bring financing and banking services into Jaffna, at the island's northern tip, and the rest of northern Sri Lankato help develop the war-scarred region and integrate it with the rest of the USD 42 billion economy.

Indian businesses have longstanding ties in Jaffna, barely 40 km across the Palk Strait from India southern Tamil Nadu state. The Indian government recently opened a new consulate there.

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