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BOI on overseas expansion spree, exploring Pak option

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, May 5 (UNI) Bank of India (BOI) today came out with an aggressive overseas expansion startegy, including opening branches in Pakistan, and said it has sought RBI's permission to use hybrid instruments to raise part of the 750 million dollar from foreign markets.

Addressing a press conference here, BOI CMD M Balachandran, however, ruled out a follow on public offer in the near future.

The Bank has sought Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) permission to use hybrid instruments to raise part of the 750 million dollars that it plans to mop up from the overseas markets, he said.

''We had two branches in Lahore and Karachi. These were closed down. We have made a fresh application to the Indian government and RBI to re-open these,'' Mr Balachandran said.

The BOI Chief was addresing the press on the sidelines of the ADB Governor's meet here and said the focus of the Bank would be to expand in Asian markets, taking into account the thrust of the government's moves relating to a closer engagement with the ASEAN countries and South East Asian countries.

Mr Balachandaran said the 100-year old Bank always had an outward orientation and around 20 per cent of its total business emnates from foreign operations.

A portion of the money to be raised from overseas would be used for funding its domestic growth plans as also expansion in overseas operations, he said.

Mr Balachandran said the Bank has set a target of increasing its total business to Rs 2,00,000 crore this fiscal from Rs 1,61,000 crore recorded during 2005-06.

BOI has the Central Bank's permission to go for medium term notes for one billion dollars, to be raised on Singapore Stock Exchange.

Of this, 250 million dollars have already been raised, Mr Balachandaran said.

Of the remainder of 750 million dollars, the BOI plans to raise part of it in innovative tier-I and upper tier-II instruments, he added.

The Bank will soon be opening branches and subsidiaries in Beijing, Doha, Johansberg and Antwerp, he informed.

BOI has an international presence in four continents with 23 branches.

UNI GS-AP PV KP1939

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