Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Oct 28, 2004
Money & Banking
Mergers & Acquisitions
PNB looking at PSU bank for merger?
Sarbajeet K. Sen
New Delhi , Oct. 27
PUNJAB National Bank (PNB) could soon be in the thick of action once again by leading the charge for consolidation among strong public sector banks.
According to banking sources, PNB is in talks for merger of a Chennai-based public sector bank with itself.
The merger, if it finally goes through, is expected to be one amongst the two PSU bank mergers that are likely to be announced by the end of the current fiscal. The Government has informally fixed a target of catalysing at least two big mergers by end-March 2005.
PNB officials when contacted, however, said that they are not looking at any merger proposal at present. "I am not looking at any bank. I am concentrating on my second public offer," the Chairman and Managing Director, PNB, Mr S.S. Kohli, said.
However, going by the bank's aggressive track record of expansion under the current CMD, it is unlikely that PNB would be able to keep itself completely detached from the merger action that the Government has promised to unfold soon.
During recent times, PNB has acquired the erstwhile Nedungadi Bank and has also pitched in for taking over IFCI Ltd.
There are two major public sector banks headquartered in Chennai - the Indian Bank and the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). Sources said that IOB could be the preferred one between the two for a merger with PNB given its wider global presence compared to Indian Bank.
This is because of the fact that despite having one of the largest domestic branch networks of around 4,400 branches, PNB has limited presence overseas. The bank currently has only one full-ledged foreign branch in the not-so-preferred destination of Kabul in Afghanistan. Besides this, it has representative offices in London, Shanghai and Almaty in Kazhakistan.
However, IOB has five foreign branches and a remittance centre in Singapore while Indian Bank has only two branches overseas. IOB has two branches in Hong Kong and one each in Colombo, Seoul, and Singapore, while the Indian Bank branches are located in Colombo and Singapore.
IOB has a domestic network of 1,500 branches. The bank's total business at the end of March 31, 2004, stood at Rs 61,778 crore with deposits standing at Rs 41,483 crore and advances at Rs 20,295 crore.
As against this, PNB had a total business of Rs 1,35,141 crore at the end of the previous fiscal with deposits standing at Rs 87,916 crore and advances at Rs 47,225 crore.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2004, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line