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India strong pillar of growth, we'll continue to invest: StanC

business Updated: Apr 12, 2009 09:40 IST

Bullish on the India growth story, Standard Chartered Bank, the largest foreign lender in the country, today said it would continue to invest here despite global economic downturn.

"India is a strong pillar of growth... We have been investing every year on capital, new branches, systems improvement, product launches, hiring more people every year. So on every facet we have been investing and the trend would continue," Standard Chartered Asia CEO Jaspal Bindra told PTI.

The intent is to grow the market share, he said, adding "we want to grow at the rate we have been growing for the last two years."

Besides, the bank also looking at inorganic route to grow its business expressed interest in taking over the Asian business of the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is selling retail and commercial assets in the region, including Indian operations.
"We are still a bidder... These things take time," Bindra had said.

The bank had first shown interest in RBS' Asian business in the first week of April, he said.

"They (RBS) are running the process we are only one of the several people looking at it," he added.

RBS, which is reeling under the financial turmoil has appointed Morgan Stanley to help the company sell its retail and commercial banking assets in Asia, including India.

"As a result of the strategic review, RBS has announced its intention to consider options, including a potential sale of its retail and commercial business in Asia Pacific. This includes the retail and commercial business in India, an official spokesperson of the UK-based bank had said.

Without giving further details and the time frame by which it will exit from the specified portfolio, the spokesperson said wealth management portfolio would also be part of the sale strategy.

RBS, which is present in India through ABN Amro Bank that it acquired in 2007, employs about 10,000 people in the country.