Punjab National Bank may buy stake in Kazakh Metrokombank

Punjab National Bank, India's second largest lender after the State Bank of India, is looking to buy a stake in Metrokombank, a small Kazakh lender, according to a Metrokombank website release.

The Central Asian bank said PNB is yet to take up due diligence and nothing has been finalised so far. Metrokombank also did not disclose any details of the potential deal.

"The deal will take place once several conditions are met, including a due diligence check and regulatory approvals," Metrokombank said in the website release.

Although talks are at an early stage, sources said PNB is keen on acquisition in the oil-rich Central Asian state.

With assets of around $35 million, Metrokombank is one of the smallest banks in the Kazakhastan.

Analysts, however, say the economics of acquiring a bank in the central Asian state, where the capital cost is huge compared to the expected benefits, does not match the current volume of trade between the two countries.

PNB has a presence in eight countries and is planning to open a few more overseas offices, including a branch each in Shanghai, Dubai and some places in Norway.

It currently has a representative office in the Khazak capital Almaty.