New Delhi: The country’s largest lender SBI is eyeing acquisitions in the south-east Asia, particularly in Indonesia where it acquired a bank way back in 2006, bolstered by Indian companies keenness of step up operations there.
“Because of India joining Asean, there could be greater synergies...So we are looking at Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines,” SBI deputy managing director and group executive (international banking) Pratip Chaudhuri told PTI.
Chaudhuri said the top priority will be to look at the possibility of acquisition in Indonesia “then Thailand and then possibly the Philippines.”
He said Indonesia has huge reserves of coal, oil and many Indian companies are eyeing acquisitions there, which makes it a good case to acquire another bank.
Coal India Ltd, NTPC, NALCO and shipping company Mercator Lines are reported to be looking at acquiring coal assets in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, SBI has already acquired PT Bank IndoMonex in 2006. “We took a bank in Indonesia and call it SBI Indonesia. It has seven branches now. We could think of taking over another bank, bring them together and scale up quickly.”
Chaudhuri said besides Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines are priority markets. “They are on radar,” he added.
Though he did not give exact timeframe for such acquisitions, the SBI official said, “in the next two years something can happen in some of these geographies.”