Citicorp has opened its seventh branch in India, according to the Reuters news agency.

The branch is in the city of Pune, in western Maharashtra state. Among U.S. banking companies, Citicorp and BankAmerica Corp. have the biggest and oldest networks of branches in India.

However, other U.S. banks with international ambitions, such as Chase Manhattan Corp., have made no secret of their interest in expanding in India.

Bankers last month welcomed a move by India to allow foreign banks to expand operations as part of a broad-ranging, worldwide agreement to liberalize trade in financial services under the World Trade Organization.

As part of the agreement, India will allow foreign banks to open 12 new offices a year, instead of eight.

Over the last few years, the number of U.S. banks with offices in India has increased from two to six, as J.P. Morgan & Co., Bank of New York Co., NationsBank Corp., and BankBoston Corp. opened offices in Bombay, joining Citicorp and BankAmerica.

BankAmerica, which has four offices in India, is planning to add a fifth in Hyderabad next year.

Citicorp opened its first office in India in Calcutta in 1902 and later expanded to Bombay, New Delhi, Madras, and Bangalore.

Compiled by James R. Kraus

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