Bank of India plans to open a full branch in Shenzhen within two years, subject to regulatory approval, according to its Hong Kong office. The Indian state-owned bank's Hong Kong head, A.R. Kuppuswamy, said it was looking towards opening other branches on the mainland, subject to demand. 'Within two years, provided we show better growth, we want to upgrade this [the representative office] into a fully fledged branch, thereafter we will look for more avenues for opening more branches, depending on market demand,' Mr Kuppuswamy said. He said an upgrade would be subject to approval by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) - the mainland's central bank. 'The PBOC officials have assured us, that depending on the performance of our representative office, they would like to upgrade it at the right time,' Mr Kuppuswamy said. Bank of India recently opened its first representative office in Shenzhen. While it does not possess a full banking licence, it will focus on providing consultancy, liaison and market survey services. Its objective was to initially serve Indian businesses already operating in Shenzhen, but it would look to target mainland businesses with business ties to India, Mr Kuppuswamy said. The bank said there were 60 Indian traders with a presence in Shenzhen. China's entry into the World Trade Organisation compels it to open its financial services sector, and foreign banks are keen to gain access to one of the biggest markets in the world. Founded in 1906, Bank of India last year returned profits of US$104 million, and has total assets of US$14.3 billion worldwide. The bank has a global network of 2,549 branches, mostly in India. It has had a presence in Hong Kong since 1960 and its local branch made 3.3 per cent of the bank's net profit, or HK$27.1 billion for the year to last March. Bank of India has two branches in Hong Kong.