SBI open to overseas acquisition: Bhatt

"It should fit into our environment, public sector culture, business, our clintele... if that kind of opportunity (for foreign acquisition) is there we will see," SBI Chairman O P Bhatt told PTI.

"If some good (overseas) opportunity is there we may look at it seriously," he said.
Bhatt also said that the bank itself has a huge international
network, and added that its global operations contribute about 14 per cent to the top line at the moment.

During 2008-09, the SBI's international credit portfolio increased by 54 per cent to Rs 86,267 crore, against Rs 56,196 crore in the previous year.
At the end of March 2009, SBI had a network of 92 offshore offices spread over 32 countries covering all time zones.
The 92 offices comprised 37 branches, five sub-offices, 8 representative offices, 35 branches of subsidiaries, three managed exchange companies and four joint ventures.

The bank along with its subsidiaries and joint ventures abroad, had opened nine outlets, including full-fledged retail operations, in Singapore last fiscal.
Three new branches and seven ATMs were also set up to boost
retail operations in Singapore.

One branch and a sub-office were added to its network in Male and a representative office in Tianjin in China was operationalised.

Besides, SBI California, the bank's wholly-owned arm in the US, opened its seventh branch in the country at Bakersfield. PT Bank Indomonex, a partly-owned subsidiary in Indonesia, also opened two branches during last year.
As far as domestic expansion is concerned, Bhatt said, the bank plans to open another 1,000 branches in 2010-11. Of these 1,000 branches, 600 would be opened in rural and semi- urban areas.

At present, the public sector lender has 12,448 branches and over 21,000 ATMs. By the end of March, 2010, it aims to scale up the number of ATMs to 25,000.

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