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SBI eyes Giro in Kenya, Rupali in Bangladesh

August 01, 2005 10:17 IST

The State Bank of India is zeroing in on Giro Commercial Bank in Kenya for possible acquisition. It is also in the process of making a bid for Rupali Bank of Bangladesh.

Banking sources said SBI had received permission from the Reserve Bank of India for these overseas acquisitions. The process of due diligence was on and a final decision was yet to be taken, they said. SBI chairman AK Purwar declined to comment.

Giro Commercial Bank was formed following the merger of Giro Bank with Commerce Bank. It is one of the leading banks in Kenya to offer premium finance facilities to its clients.

Rupali Bank was formed with the merger of the erstwhile Muslim Commercial Bank, Australasia Bank Ltd and Standard Bank. It is one of the leading banks in Bangladesh.

SBI managing director T S Bhattacharya had last week said SBI would acquire four banks overseas with assets ranging from $50 million to $200 million. He had also said the bank would complete the due diligence by October.

SBI is also in the process of setting up branches in South Korea, Shanghai and Angola. It has already set up representative offices and branches in Sydney and Muscat. The premier state-run bank wants to reposition itself as a global bank.

In February this year, it picked up a 51 per cent stake in the Mauritius-based Indian Ocean International Bank Ltd. SBI could not set up a branch in Indonesia owing to local foreign banking regulations and instead acquired a bank there.

Following the stringent capital adequacy norms of the Central Bank of Nigeria, SBI also merged its Nigerian subsidiary - Indo Nigerian bank -- with Nal Bank. The merged entity will be a universal bank with NAL Bank's experience in corporate and investment banking.
Anindita Dey in Mumbai