Bank of Baroda plans to open about 13 overseas branches in the next six months, according to a top official of the bank.

“We have 87 branches now, and we plan to take the number of branches to 100 in six months,” Mr M. D. Mallya, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Baroda, said here on Monday. The bank has obtained a licence for Australia from the RBI, he pointed out, adding that it is awaiting a licence from the Australian authorities. Bank of Baroda has a representative office in Australia now.

Malaysian branch

The bank also plans to open its Malaysian branch, in joint venture with Indian Overseas Bank and Andhra Bank. “We have formed a subsidiary for the same, and we would open the branch in February,” said Mr Mallya.

The bank also plans to open branches in Kenya, Uganda, New Zealand, Botswana, Tanzania, and the UAE. Overseas branches contribute about 25 per cent of the bank's business, and the growth from this segment is sustainable, said Mr Mallya.

Domestic business

On the bank's domestic business, he said that as of December 2011 the bank has crossed Rs 6-lakh crore business, logging a growth of 25 per cent on a compounded annual basis. Though the banking industry's credit growth has been muted at 16-17 per cent in the recent past, Mr Mallya expects his bank to grow 19-20 per cent this fiscal.

Lending to corporates has come down in the past few months, he pointed out, because the “overall investment climate looks muted”. He added that corporates also had become more efficient in managing their inventory, and “so their working capital needs have come down”. However, Mr Mallya expected “things to change in the days to come” with some sort of moderation in inflation.

He also said that the Government would inject Rs 775-crore capital into the bank, and expected the capital infusion to happen before end-March 2012.

(This article was published on January 16, 2012)
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