Bank of Muscat Bangalore to merge with Centurion Bank

Mumbai: Bank of Muscat (BoM) has said that following the Centurion board approval of Rana Talwar-led Sabre group''s restructuring proposal, the former will merge its Bangalore branch with Centurion Bank in India. BoM has invested around Rs 75 crore in Centurion Bank for restructuring.

Says BoM SAOG head (international operations) Suleiman Shahbal: "The investment in Centurion Bank confirms our long-term commitment in India. We see substantial opportunities in promoting investment flows, trade and non-resident Indian [NRI] services between India, Oman and the Gulf. This initiative will help us to strengthen the long historical relationship between India and the Gulf and enhance trade relations."

In the interim period of the transaction, the Sabre group will oversee the operations of the BoM India. BoM chief executive (India) Samit Ghosh will hand over the day-to-day management to an interim chief executive under the advice of the Sabre group. Both the banks have to get approval from the high courts of Maharashtra and Karnataka and the final regulatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Ghosh, however, will continue to represent BoM during the transaction until all regulatory approvals are in place, a BoM statement issued here said.

Says Shahbal: "Through this partnership we believe that the excellent retail business that Centurion Bank will be building will also benefit both our NRI and local customers. Our partnership with Centurion Bank is also a partnership with other international organisations such as Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and Keppel Corporation of Singapore, who are shareholders in Centurion Bank."