The largest lender of the country, State Bank of India has declared that it would go ahead with the merger of State Bank of Indore with itself in the first quarter of the upcoming fiscal.
"The proposal for the merger of State Bank of Indore with SBI is on track. The bank is waiting for the government approval," SBI chairman OP Bhatt said.
He further added that the merger would take place in the first quarter of the coming financial year and that the bank is looking into procedural issues.
With this merger SBI will embed into itself another of its associate banks. The bank had merged State Bank of Saurashtra to itself in August 2008.
After the merger five more associate banks of SBI will remain in function in the country. They are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad. Among these, State Banks of Bikaner and Jaipur, Mysore and Travancore are listed banks.
The Central board of the bank as well as the Government had given approval for the merger last year. SBI presently holds 98% stake in State Bank of Indore. The bank posted a net profit of Rs 279 crore in 2008-09.
Speaking on SBI's plans to expand offshore, Bhatt said, "It should fit in into your environment, public sector culture, with your business, with your customer it...if that kind of opportunity is there we will see...if some good (overseas) opportunity is there we may look at it seriously."
He further added that the bank presently has a huge network in the overseas market and that global operations contribute as much as 14% to the net profit of the bank. The year 2008-09 saw SBI's international credit portfolio shoot up by 54 per cent to Rs 86,267 crore against Rs 56,196 crore in the previous year.
As per reports in March 2009, the bank had 92 overseas offices spreading over 32 countries. The 92 offices comprised 37 branches, five sub-offices, eight representative offices, 35 branches of subsidiaries, three managed exchange companies and four joint ventures.