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Mumbai, June 17

THERE are no plans at present to merge HDFC Bank with its parent, Mr Jagdish Capoor, Chairman, said in reply to a question at the bank's AGM here today.

Shareholders' demand for bonus shares, higher dividend and better service were met with a brief "we will think about it."

Responding to other queries, Mr Capoor said the bank would keep a watch on foreign markets and upgrade its representative offices as and when needed.

Responding to a shareholder's query on increase in the bank's insurance expenditure from Rs 17 crore to Rs 33 crore, Mr Capoor said it was due to the rise in premium paid to the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation, which was mandatory.

Asked about likely hike in interest rates of consumer loans, Mr Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank, said, "We are examining it." at this point in time."

According to him, there is a need to watch out for an interest rate hike only if deposit rates went up. Given current inflation rate and commodity prices, hardening of interest rates was unlikely, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 18, 2005)
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