SBI eyes South-East Asia for expansion

State Bank of India (SBI) is looking for acquisitions to expand its presence in south-east Asia. The

Overseas operations contribute approximately 10 per cent of total profit of SBI. The bank intends to use internal resources to fund the acquisitions in south-east Asia and increase the profit from overseas operations to 25 per cent over the next five years.

Pratip Chaudhuri, deputy managing director and group executive, said: "Because of India joining Asean, there could be greater synergies. So we are looking at Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

"The top priority will be to look at the possibility of acquisition in Indonesia then Thailand and then possibly the Philippines. We took a bank in Indonesia and call it SBI Indonesia. It has seven branches now. We could think of taking over another bank, bring them together and scale up quickly."

SBI is of the opinion that since Indonesia has huge reserves of oil and coal, and several Indian firms are also looking for acquisitions this is the right time to swing into action. Reportedly, Coal India, NTPC, NALCO and shipping company Mercator Lines are said to be looking at acquiring coal assets in Indonesia.

SBI has 82 branches in 32 countries across the globe. It has also subsidiaries in India - SBI Capital Markets, SBICAP Securities, SBI DFHI, SBI Factors, SBI Life and SBI Cards.