HDFC Bank in advanced merger talks with Centurion Bank of Punjab: CNBC-TV18

HDFC Bank may be in advanced merger talks with Centurion Bank of Punjab, the English language business channel, CNBC-TV18 today reported, saying that the talks were said to be at "a critical stage".

The channel, however, said there was no confirmation from HDFC Bank and quoted Centurion Bank of Punjab's managing director and CEO Shailendra Bhandari as saying it did not want to comment on speculations.

CNBC-TV18 had earlier broken the news of Centurion Bank's two previous mergers, the first with the Bank of Punjab and last year of the merged Centurion Bank of Punjab's acquisition of the south-based Lord Krishna Bank. The report says Centurion Bank of Punjab has been active in terms of consolidation within the sector and is one of the only banks, to be so active.
The report also said that the deal price was as yet unknown. Centurion Bank of Punjab's current market price is around Rs50-Rs51 and that the deal could be at a reasonable premium but not at a significant premium to the current market price.

Centurion Bank of Punjab's major shareholders include Bank of Muscat, HSBC Finance, Sabre Capital, with the Bank of Muscat having the highest stake at 14 per cent.