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SBI denies interest in purchasing Lehman’s India assets
By Vaibhav Aggarwal
Sep 25, 2008
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India's largest bank, State Bank of India confirmed that there is no plan to purchase Lehman's India assets. The Bank was considered among the several lenders that are expected to buy US Investment bank Lehman's Indian assets.

A top official of SBI said, "SBI does not have any interests in purchasing Lehman's assets in India. There are no such proposals at present."

SBI, StanChart, Barclays and BNP Paribas were in talks with the US investment bank to acquire their business in India. However, these companies also did not step forward to make any comment on the issue.

StanChart's India Head, Neeraj Swaroop said, "We do not comment on such reports." But according to the sources, StanChart along with Barclays Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. is seen in competition to buy the Asian operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Representatives of the three banks spent the weekend trying to assess the value of Lehman's regional assets, including its investment banking, fixed-income and equity divisions, and each was expected to table a bid.

StanChart's inclusion may surprise many because it had not previously flagged any interest in growing its investment banking division by acquisition.

Barclays and BNP Paribas were not available for comments. Reports expect a clear picture on the issue in about a week's time.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is a global financial-services firm. The firm does business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales, research and trading, investment management, private equity, and private banking. It is a primary dealer in the U.S. Treasury securities market. On September 15th, 2008, the firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; the filing marks the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The day following the filing Barclays had announced to acquire Lehman's North American investment-banking and trading divisions along with its New York headquarters building.

SBI has a USD 5 million exposure to Lehman Brothers against its global balance sheet of $250 billion.


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