StanChart, SBI Card in the fray to buy Barclays' India credit cards business

Standard Chartered and SBI Card are in the fray to buy Barclays' credit cards business in India, Reuters yesterday reported, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Barclays India, which has around 200,000 card holders in India, had in April decide to focus on secured retail assets and put its credit cards business on the block, a sale that could fetch the UK-based lender around Rs225 crore.

In the same month, Deutsche Bank sold its credit card business to private lender IndusInd Bank for an estimated price of around Rs224 crore. The deal marked IndusInd Bank's entry into the credit card business.

Barclays, which is expecting a "small" premium to the book value for its credit card business in India, is likely to ink the deal in the next one-and-a-half months.

Standard Chartered has about 1.2 million card holders in India. SBI Card, which is a joint venture between country's largest lender State Bank of India and diversified financial solutions provider GE Capital, had earlier bid for Deutsche Bank's credit card business.

In May, Business Standard had reported that Axis Bank and SBI Card are among five suitors, who have expressed interest to buy Barclays India credit card business.

Credit card transactions in the country hit a record high of Rs755.15 billion in the last fiscal year 2010-11, according to a data released by Reserve Bank of India.