Unfazed by its two partners opting out of a proposed venture in Malaysia, state-run lender Bank of Baroda (BoB) said on Monday that it is going ahead with its plans to set up a joint venture banking company with new partners.
“The (Malaysian joint venture) plan is still there, though the partners have changed. Earlier, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Pune-based Bank of Maharashtra were there,” BoB chairman and managing director A.K. Khandelwal said.
Without disclosing names, he said: “We have finalized the new joint venture partners and have written to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for necessary approvals. A formal announcement will be made once the proposal is approved by RBI.”
Commenting on Oriental Bank of Commerce withdrawing from the proposed venture, its executive director Allen C.A. Pereira said there were a lot of opportunities in the domestic market. “We want to consolidate our position in the home turf... thereafter we would explore the overseas market,” he added.
Currently, BoB has a representative office in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The only other Indian bank present in Malaysia is Kolkata-based UCO Bank.
The Mumbai-based BoB has about 60 overseas branches or offices, which contribute about 18% to its business and 30% to its net profit. Among Indian banks, it has the largest number of overseas branches in 20 countries, ahead of State Bank of India, which has about 45 overseas branches as on 30 September 2006.
Besides, BoB is also looking to acquire a bank in Africa where it has operations in six countries. It also plans to set up a subsidiary in Ghana in 2007-08.