Foreign Banks Keen On Picking Up Stake In LKB

New Delhi, Nov 6: | Updated: Nov 7 2003, 05:30am hrs
A number of foreign banks have evinced interest in picking up stake in Lord Krishna Bank (LKB), senior bank officials said here on Thursday. It plans to raise about Rs 30-35 crore through the route or through a rights issue, in case its efforts to double its balance sheet this fiscal come through, managing director RM Nayak said.

The private sector bank will be examining closely the advantages, that such an alliance will offer before deciding to clinch a deal. We will be looking for technology and state-of-the-art know-how in allied financial services in the growing range that customers expect from banks nowadays, Mr Nayak elaborated.

LKB, which had a capital adequacy of 13 per cent as on March 2003, was not in any immediate need of capital, promoter director Ashwani Puri pointed out. He said LKB would consider the foreign bank route as a first option, inducting Tier-II capital as a second option and the public issue only as a third alternative. The promoters are willing to inject more capital, he added, but denied any plan to divest the present 65 per cent stake held by him and his group associates, including the Dabur group with a 6 per cent holding.

The bank launched its 100th branch on Wednesday and plans to take the number up to 114 by the end of the current fiscal, Mr Nayak added. It also plans to bring online 56 of its branches by December-end, he added.

The bank is also eyeing a business turnover of Rs 20,000 crore by 2007. It has applied to the Reserve Bank for opening branches in Afghanistan and is lining up plans for Ghana, Sudan and Mozambique, he said.