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SBI 'evaluating options'to enter aircraft leasing business

The State Bank of India (SBI) is “evaluating options” to enter the aircraft leasing business in India, a senior official from the bank said.

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The State Bank of India (SBI) is "evaluating options" to enter the aircraft leasing business in India, a senior official from the bank said.

"We are evaluating options to handle aircraft leasing business in GIFT City subject to regulatory approvals and viability," Ashwini Tewari, managing director – international banking, technology and subsidiaries at SBI said.

The decision comes after the Union Budget 2021 announced incentives for aircraft leasing companies to open offices in GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) near Ahmedabad.

"SBI does not have the expertise of running an aircraft leasing business and the bank is looking for a foreign partner that has the expertise in the sector," one source said.

SBI's venture into the sector would not be a wholly unheard of move, earlier the Bank of China entered the segment as part of the Chinese Government's plan to develop the country as an aircraft leasing hub. Since then, Bank of China has become the largest of such a leasing company in the world, including India, where it is third in terms of number of aircrafts leased – 25 to various airlines.

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