Southern banks in focus amid consolidation talk | india | Hindustan Times
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Southern banks in focus amid consolidation talk

india Updated: Mar 24, 2010 21:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The country’s private banking space seems to be getting into the consolidation mode, with Kerala-based Dhanalakshmi bank on Wednesday saying it is open to a merger.

“We are open to a possible merger with another banking entity though there is nothing concrete on the table at the moment and we are not in talks with any entity at the moment,” Amitabh Chaturvedi, managing director and chief executive officer, Dhanalakshmi Bank told Hindustan Times.

Other south India-based banks, including Catholic Syrian Bank and Lord Krishna Bank, make good acquisition proposition for bigger banking entities, a banking analyst who did not wish to be identified said.

There have been reports that several banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), including ADAG, have been eyeing the south-based bank for a possible acquisition. However, until now, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, an NBFCs was not allowed to acquire a bank. In Budget 2010-11, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced that the RBI would issue fresh licences to banks and NBFCs.

Dhanalakshmi Bank has gone in for a re-branding exercise. “We have go in for a makeover with new set of employees,” Chaturvedi said. The bank would come up with another advertising campaign in the next couple of months to give a more pan- India touch to it, he added.

The bank has also decided to go aggressive on the retail segment, including home and auto loan portfolios, to increase penetration. The bank, with 270 branches, operates mostly in the south. “We want to strengthen our retail segment,” he said.