HSBC to boost India presence with RBS’ biz acquisition

HSBC to boost India presence with RBS’ biz acquisition

Mumbai: HSBC India expects to boost its India presence with the acquisition of RBS businesses, a top bank official said on Tuesday.

“Our main focus is the acquisition of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (RBS) retail and commercial banking businesses in India. We can successfully close our transactions and that will be a significant boost to our business here," HSBC India’s CEO, Stuart Davis, told the news agency on the sidelines of a conference here today.

HSBC, through its wholly-owned subsidiary The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, had agreed to acquire RBS’ retail and commercial banking businesses in India involving portfolios with a gross asset value of $1.8-billion as at 31 March, 2010. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the first-half of 2011.

“We are looking at growing our branch network in India. We see a strong opportunity for growth and we expect to grow very strongly in the next 5-10 years," Davis said.

The bank expects a strong growth in commercial and corporate loans on the current base rate, he said.

The credit off-take is a little slow, but with investments in infrastructure projects set to pick-up in next few months, “we expect strong a loan demand," he added.

Welcoming the RBI’s decision to issue new licenses to private sector banks, Davis said that additional competition is welcome.

India is expected to register an 8% GDP growth for the next 5-year period and a high level of banking services would be needed to help that growth.

“There are certainly more opportunities for new banks," Davis said.