Four Foreign Banks among acquisition probables for SBI

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA : India's biggest bank by customer base and revenues State Bank of India is evaluating four banks abroad for acquisition to expand its foreign operations in a bid to become one of the top three banks in Asia by 2008 and among the top 20 globally over the next few years.

"We are evaluating four international banks currently and I cannot divulge any further information on this," SBI managing director T.S. Bhattacharya said on the sidelines of the banking conclave organized by industry chamber FICCI.

These are mid-size banks with low manpower. SBI expects to complete the due diligence over the next three months and thereafter the negotiations would commence.

The bank had already taken over two overseas banks in Indonesia and Mauritius, Bhattacharya informed.

And, further consolidation was planned by the bank to grow at a faster rate, which was not possible only through the organic route.

The bank had set a target to double its global assets in the next two years. "We want to double the global assets of $13 billion by next two years," Bhattacharya said.

The bank, besides acquisition attempts, is also simultaneously moving ahead with strengtheing its foreign network.

It is going to open new branches in Angola and Shanghai. In Shanghai, the bank is upgrading its representative office into a full-fledged branch.

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