[sbinews] Bankers going global

  • From: sbistcbangalore@xxxxxxxx
  • To: sbinews@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2003 07:56:19 +0500

Bankers talk going global as India Inc shops abroad 

MUMBAI: Indian corporates on an international shopping spree will lead Indian 
banks to the global markets. Bankers see acquisition of foreign companies by 
Indian businesses as a growing trend that will pick up in the coming years. 

“We believe follow your customer strategy,” said KV Kamath, managing director, 
ICICI Bank speaking at the 25th annual Bank Economists’ Conference. He 
indicated that a number of banks’ clients were talking about acquiring 
companies abroad and this would bring global opportunities. Mr Kamath said that 
to exploit these opportunities ICICI Bank is planning to open branches in six 
countries this year and 12 to 15 countries by next year. 

Echoing his views, AK Purwar, chairman, SBI said that India needs more big 
banks of global size. “At present SBI is the only bank with a presence in 26 
countries but that is not enough. At least five to six Indian banks should have 
such presence abroad. Thus I strongly feel that consolidation is extremely 
necessary and I think RBI is aware of it and is doing something about it,” said 
Mr Purwar. He added that his bank is planning to increase its presence to 35 
countries and increasing foreign offices to 65 from 55 branches now. 

According to Leo Puri of McKinsey & Co there were three banks to go global. One 
to engage in a flag planting strategy and establish a presence in major money 
markets across the globe. The second was to be a regional player such as DBS 
and the third was to follow Indian trade and diaspora. 

According to Mr Puri, a bank could not go global until it was in a strong 
position in the home market. “The base need not be an obvious home market, but 
a market where it has a dominant position such as HSBC in Hong Kong ,” he said. 
Citing the example of Citibank, Mr Puri said that Citi’s strong base in its 
home market enabled the bank to survive multiple shocks in Latin American and 
other emerging markets. 

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