PNB plans to increase global presence
By Ankit Sharma
May 25, 2010
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Public sector lender, Punjab National Bank is aiming to increase its presence in global markets and plans to lift its total business from international banks by six times, reported a top official of the bank. He also confirmed that the bank has no plans to enter the insurance sector.

"Compared with our peers, we have a very small presence overseas. Only 3 per cent of our business comes from international business, when compared with 20 per cent for our nearest competitors. So, we are looking to ramp up our global presence," Nagesh Pydah, executive director of Punjab National Bank, said.

The bank currently has operations in nine countries, with branches at Kabul and Dubai, Hong Kong and representative offices at Almaty, Dubai, Shanghai and Oslo, a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK, a joint venture with Everest Bank in Nepal and Druk PNB Bank in Bhutan.

The bank would be upgrading its representative offices in China and Norway. Along with this, it is also going to open a subsidiary in Canada and a representative office in Sydney, Australia.

"With India Inc expanding their global footprints via expansion, and mergers and acquisitions, it is important to have branches in those countries to serve them better. And there is a big scope for improving our non-interest income," he added.

Negating the idea of the bank setting foot in the insurance business, Pydah said, "Insurance is a capital intensive business and it takes at least eight years to be profitable. Instead, we would look to increase our fee-based income by distribution of third party products."


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