PNB on overseas expansion drive; to grab majority stake in Kazakh bank

The public sector Punjab National Bank is set to pick up a 64-per cent stake in JSC Dana Bank of Kazakhstan, PNB chairman and managing director K R Kamath said in Hyderabad on Thursday.

''We have received RBI approval for the same,'' he told the media. He said the bank would spend about $24 million (Rs111.36 crore) to acquire the stake in the Kazak bank. PNB would also raise $100 million debt by this month-end with a greenshoe option to meet expansion plans.

The bank is working to increase the foreign revenue share through expansions. "We aim to double the revenues from international operations by 2013," he said. At present, the foreign revenues contribution is three per cent of the total revenues.

Furthering its overseas expansion plans, PNB will soon set up a subsidiary in Canada, have a representative office in Australia and expand in the erstwhile Soviet bloc.

The bank already has a subsidiary in London with five branches - two in Hong Kong, one in Dubai, one in Kabul and representative offices in Kazakhstan, Shanghai and Oslo.

Total business of the bank grew 20 per cent to cross Rs4,35,931 crore from Rs3,64,463 crore in March 2009. Net profit of the bank was Rs3,905 crore as compared with Rs3,091 crore, and the operating profit during the financial year ended March 2010 grew 28.8 per cent to reach Rs7,326 crore from Rs5,690 crore.

The deposits of the bank rose to Rs2,49,330 as on March 31, 2010, exhibiting a year-on-year growth of 19 per cent.

On the domestic front, Kamath said that about 200 more branches would be added in the current year to the existing 5,000 branches.

Meanwhile, the bank has launched the ambitious 'Project Namaskar' under which 1 lakh touch points, which include branches, ATMs, kiosks and business correspondents, will be established in unbanked villages by 2013 to extend the bank's outreach.
Under this, 30 kiosks have been opened covering 119 villages, reaching 1.32 lakh beneficiaries.