SBI, Axis Bank: interested ones in Barclays' card biz
By Ankit Sharma
May 23, 2011
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With Barclays deciding to sell off its credit card business, at least five banks have shown active interest in the buyout. Amongst these include banking majors Axis Bank as well as State Bank of India.

"We are evaluating the various options and will choose the route which serves the interest of our stakeholders," said Karan Bhagat, managing director and country head of Barclays Corporate.

SBI cards is a partnership output of SBI and GE capital.

"Yes, we are in talks. We are looking into it. Discussions are at a very early stage," a senior GE Capital official said.

"We evaluate various options from time to time for achieving our goals. However, we do not comment on speculations and rumours," said Axis Bank.

"Banks have again become active in the credit card space as growth outlook for the Indian economy is bright. Since Barclays has decided to sell its performing portfolio, it minimises the default risk. Institutions that bid for Deutsche Bank's cards business but were not successful would be interested. They may not mind paying a little premium," said a brokerage house analyst.


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