UBS buys 1.6 per cent in bank of Maharashtra for Rs 33.4 crore

Mumbai: UBS AG, Europe's largest bank by assets, has bought a 1.6 per cent stake in public sector Bank of Maharashtra for Rs 33.4 crore ($8.1 million).

Swiss Finance Corp. Mauritius Ltd., a unit of UBS, bought the stake in the Pune, Maharashtra-based lender from Citigroup Global Markets Mauritius Pvt Ltd., according to information posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange website.

Swiss Finance Corp. Mauritius Ltd bought 6.92 million shares, at Rs 48.25 apiece, the release said.

The government owns 76.8 per cent in Bank of Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, the bank is targeting total business of Rs 72,000 crore by March 2008, according to MD Mallya, chairman and managing director of the bank. The total business of the bank as of June this year stood at Rs 58,381 crore with an increase of 29 per cent over the previous year's Rs 45,105 crore, Mallya told reporters last week at the opening of a branch in Chennai.

Mallya said the bank has applied to the RBI for opening another 65 branches across the country. With this, the total number of branches would go up to 1,425 by March 2008. He added that DMAT was another focus area of the bank. The bank was in talks with a couple of companies regarding online trading and it would be finalised soon.