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Wednesday, Apr 07, 2004

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SBI scrip up on reports of overseas plans

Our Bureau

Mumbai , April 6

STATE Bank of India shares closed 2.08 per cent higher on the bourses on the back of news reports of its plans for acquisition of a US-based bank.

SBI shares closed at Rs 627.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, higher by Rs 12.80, from its previous close.

The bank, which has been scouting for international acquisitions, has zeroed in on the US, Asia and Africa for its expansion plans, according to SBI officials.

SBI is reportedly also undertaking a due diligence procedure for its acquisition which may take anywhere between six months and one year to be completed.

At present, SBI has a presence in 31 countries through 52 offices. By March 2005, plans are under way to expand the its reach to over 65 offices spread over 36 countries. The international presence is supplemented by a group of overseas and NRI branches in India and correspondent links with over 700 leading banks across 127 countries.

In Asia, the countries in the radar include China, Bangladesh and Nepal, officials said.

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