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Sunday, Feb 03, 2002

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`Too early to comment on Vysya stake hike'

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BANK Brussels Lambert (BBL), which announced its plans to hike its stake in Vysya Bank, "is in discussions with Mr G.M. Rao and associates to ascertain if we can acquire the GMR Vasavi stake and how it can be done,'' said Mr Bart Hellemans, Deputy Managing Director, Vysya Bank and the BBL nominee to the bank's board.

BBL, which is planning to acquire the controlling stake in Vysya Bank, is "still studying the implications of the 10 per cent cap on the voting limit,'' Mr Hellemans said.

BBL currently holds a 20 per cent stake in Vysya Bank and the markets have been in expectation of a move by BBL to hike its stake since the Government permitted foreign banks to hold up to 49 per cent stake in Indian banks.

``We have just started discussions between Vysya Bank and the GMR Vasavi group and it is too premature to comment on the implications,'' according to Mr Hellemans.

He also said there would be no impact of the move on its life venture - ING Vysya Life Insurance - where Vysya Bank holds a 49 per cent stake, ING 26 per cent and the GMR Vasavi group company, 25 per cent.

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