[sbinews] SBI In Talks For Overseas Acquisitions In Asia, Africa (Financial Express)

  • From: "Rajendra S. Pai" <rspai9@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: sbinews@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 20:33:30 -0700 (PDT)

SBI In Talks For Overseas Acquisitions In Asia, Africa
(Financial Express) 
KOLKATA, MAY 28:  The State Bank of India (SBI) is
looking forward to acquiring scheduled commercial
banks overseas, according to its chairman AK Purwar. 

?We are seriously considering taking over scheduled
commercial banks in countries like Bangladesh,
Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka in Asia and Angola
and Senegal in Africa,? Mr Purwar said at a press
conference here Friday after announcing the financial
results of the bank for the fiscal to March 31, 2004. 

He said SBI was already holding talks with a number of
banks in these countries. However, he refused to
disclose either the identities of these banks or the
probable cost. 

The bank is currently having 51 overseas offices in 28
countries. ?During the fiscal to March 31, 2004, the
bank?s overseas operations recorded $40 million in
revenue, up from the previous fiscal?s figure of $25
million. If we are able to firm up our overseas
expansion plans during the current fiscal, I expect
the figure to at least double by the end of the
fiscal,? Mr Purwar said. 

Mr Purwar ruled out the possibility of offering
another voluntary retirement scheme in the near
future. However, he added, the bank was considering an
exit option for those employees who had never received
a promotion. ?This exit option is still at the
planning stage,? Mr Purwar added. 

He said the bank was undertaking business process
re-engineering projects and had engaged McKinsey & Co
as advisor to the project. 

?McKinsey has been coming out with its reports in
parts and already we have implemented some of their
suggestions in departments like the national banking
group, corporate banking, medium and small-scale
industries advances and the mortgage sector,? he said.

Asked whether there was an immediate possibility of
merger of the seven associate banks of SBI with the
parent, Mr Purwar replied that they would continue to
operate as independent bodies. 

?We have already synergised many of their operations
like implementation of business process
re-engineering, common technology platform and
cross-selling of products. In such a situation, merger
of seven associate banks with SBI is not on our
agenda,? Mr Purwar said. 

According to him, the objective of this exercise is to
strengthen SBI?s ability to acquire new customers,
build lasting relationships with existing customers
and to increase customer satisfaction through
world-class service. 

Claiming that cross-selling of products from SBI Life
Insurance Co. Ltd and SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd has
commenced in right earnest through the bank?s branch
network in the entire group, Mr Purwar said that
during 2003-04, SBI have covered over 1,28,700 lives
and collected premium of Rs 82 crore. 

Mr Purwar informed that under the Securitisation &
Reconstruction of Financial Assets & Enforcement of
Securities Interest Act, 2002, SBI has served notices
to 12,553 defaulters involving an amount of Rs 5,114
crore, effecting a recovery of Rs 130 crore till March

?We have also sold 76 assets involving dues of Rs
570.35 crore of principal amount to Asset
Reconstruction Co of India Ltd (ARCIL) during 2003-04
at an offer price of Rs 162.33 crore. Depending on how
far ARCIL is being able to dispose of these assets, we
might go on for an higher sale of such assets in
2004-05,? Mr Purwar said. 

He also claimed that SBI?s credit card business, which
was 17 per cent of the total credit cards market in
India, was performing quite well.

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