Mumbai: State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender by assets, picked Bank of America Corp. and Deutsche Bank AG to arrange a share sale that could raise about $2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The lender also chose IIFL Holdings Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., JM Financial Ltd. and SBI Capital Markets Ltd. to work on the offering, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. SBI aims to start the share sale as soon as next month, the people said.

SBI, whose origins date back more than two centuries, is seeking capital to bolster loan growth after reporting fourth-quarter profit more than doubled. The offering comes as the Indian banking system battles a soured-debt ratio that’s surged to the highest level since at least 2001.

The board of SBI in March approved fundraising of as much as Rs15,000 crore ($2.3 billion) through methods including an institutional share sale, rights offering and depositary receipt sale. The exact timing and size of any offering hasn’t been finalized, the people said.

Representatives for SBI, IIFL and Kotak Mahindra Bank declined to comment, while representatives for Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and JM Financial didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment. Bloomberg

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