Mumbai: State-run lender Union Bank of India (UBI) has said it plans to open three overseas branches in Sydney, Dubai and London before the fiscal end.

"I am hopeful that at least three overseas branches are expected by March 2013," bank Chairman and Managing Director D Sarkar said.

On the geographies which the bank is targeting, Sarkar said Australia (Sydney), England (London) and UAE (Dubai) are the areas where the branches will be located.

The city-headquartered UBI has already incorporated a subsidiary in England for its London branch, he said, adding the process for setting up the other two is underway.

In line with many of its peers among the domestic lenders like IDBI Bank, UBI is also planning to have a branch in the Dubai International Finance Centre which will help it raise money in foreign currencies and on-lend to borrowers in non-rupee denominations, he said.

The exact timelines for opening of the branches will depend on the view taken on its applications by local regulators in these countries, he said.

At present, UBI's international footprint includes a branch in Hong Kong and five representative offices elsewhere, he said, stressing that it is spreading its network 'slowly'.

The bank is targeting a credit growth of 18-20 percent this fiscal and in-line with the general trend, its assets expansion in the first quarter has been subdued, Sarkar said, adding that factors like progress of monsoons, which has been lagging behind, will help it achieve the desired growth.

On deposit growth, he declined to cite a number for last quarter saying the bank is in pre-earnings silent period.

The bank, which posted a margin of 3.21 percent last quarter, is confident of maintaining its net interest margin above 3 percent, he said.

Meanwhile, the bank inaugurated second of its special automated teller machines (ATMs) for visually-challenged in the adjoining Thane suburb over the weekend.

Sarkar said the bank plans to open 50 such ATMs before September and take it to 100 before the fiscal end.

(Agencies)

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