Bank of America's India profit up 80% | india | Hindustan Times
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Bank of America's India profit up 80%

Bank of America, like most of its global competitors, is keying in on China and India as markets for growth.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 17:21 IST

Bank of America Corp, the world's second most valuable lender, said profits from its Indian branches rose 80 per cent in the fiscal year ended March 31, driven by risk management and foreign exchange operations.

Bank of America, which invested $175 million in its Indian business last year, said combined net profit from its five branches rose to Rs 1.45 billion from Rs 805 million in fiscal year 2005.

Bank of America, like most of its global competitors, is keying in on China and India as markets for growth. It has also expanded in China through its nearly 9 per cent stake in state-backed China Construction Bank.

Bank of America posted net revenue of Rs 3.99 billion, an increase of 60 per cent, as net interest revenue derived from lending rose 38 percent to Rs 1.8 billion.

Non-interest income from businesses like risk management, foreign exchange and treasury rose 85 per cent to Rs 2.2 billion.

The bank still has a way to go before it catches up with rivals like Standard Chartered, which has more than 100 branches in India and booked an operating profit of $235 million in full-year 2005.

"It will be our endeavour to continually enhance the level of our service and product portfolio to our corporate clients in India," said Vishwavir Ahuja, Bank of America's India country executive officer, noting the lender has no net non-performing assets in India.

Bank of America, long a powerhouse in the United States through a string of big acquisitions, is playing catch up in Asia, where it currently has more than 2,500 employees in 13 countries.

By contrast, StanChart, which is based in London but focuses on Asia and other emerging markets, has more than 10,000 employees in India alone.