Canara Bank mulls overseas expansion

Kolkata, July 26 | Updated: Jul 27 2006, 05:30am hrs
Canara Bank is planning to expand its operations in foreign locations where financial markets are active. At present, it is eyeing southeast Asia for its expansion activities.

The bank, the second largest public sector bank in India after State Bank of India, has a representive office in Shanghai and would soon open another office in Sharjah and a branch office in Hong Kong.

Canara Bank is looking at three options for its increased presence in the regionopening new offices, joint venture with other banks and acquisition of small banks, said BN Rao, its chairman and managing director.

"We have not decided anything regarding acquisition as yet, but are targeting small banks," said Rao.

Besides increasing its overseas presence, the bank would soon finalise its plan to float an insurance subsidiary along with an Indian bank and a foreign partner. In the new insurance business, Canara Bank would have a majority stake, said Rao.

He also said the bank would not like to increase the interest rate following the rise in reverse repo rates by 25 bps. "We are adequately hedged against the rise in interest rate due to the hike in reverse repo by the RBI," said Rao.