Chartered Bank consolidates its position as India's largest
international bank with acquisition of Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait.
Chartered Bank, India’s largest international bank with a
branch network of 81 branches across 31 Indian cities, has announced
the acquisition of the Indian operations of Bahrain’s largest
bank, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait. This adds another two branches to the
Standard Chartered network in India.
terms the acquisition is quite small for Standard Chartered India,
which has a domestic balance sheet of Rs.373 billion. Bank of Bahrain
and Kuwait has a balance sheet size of Rs.6 billion.
the bank plans to leverage its acquisition to play a larger role in the
increasing trade links between Kuwait and India. Standard Chartered has
received in principle approval for the takeover from India’s
central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It will seek final
approval from the RBI after its’ own shareholder approvals
are in place.
This completes a hat trick for
Standard Chartered in India which has successfully used the
acquisitions route to grow its business. In 2000 it bought out the
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd,’s (ANZ)
operations in the Middle East and South Asia and Grindlays’
associated private banking business.
This was a
large acquisition adding 116 branches across 13 countries. In India
specifically ANZ Grindlays had 29 branches across 15 cities at the time
of the takeover, adding considerably to Standard Chartered’s
own presence of 19 branches across eight cities. The subsequent merger
of Grindlays into Standard Chartered in 2002 catapulted Standard
Chartered to the number one position among foreign banks operating in
India, in terms of branch network.
2004 Standard Chartered acquired the Indian operations of Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corporation. This comprised branches in Delhi and Mumbai
and a trade finance, loan syndication and cash management business.
Chartered has been operating in India for well over a century since it
opened its first overseas branch in Kolkata (Calcutta) as The Chartered
Bank in 1858. Standard Chartered’s operations are mainly in
Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
It is estimated
that three quarters of the bank’s profits arise from Asia.
Within Asia India is an important part of the bank’s
strategy. In February, 2006, Mervyn Davies, chief executive commented,
“we’re confident in our strategy of organic growth
supplemented by alliances and acquisitions if we see value.”