Allahabad Bank, PNB plan to buy bank in Kazakhstan

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Mr O.N. Singh
Mr O.N. Singh

Our Bureau

Chennai, July 22

ALLAHABAD Bank and Punjab National Bank, which had planned to set up a joint venture in Kazakhstan, have now given up the idea. Instead, the two public sector banks intend to jointly buy a bank in that country, said Mr O.N. Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, Allahabad Bank.

A decision on the acquisition could be made in three months, he added.

Kazakhstan is one of the areas where the bank is planning overseas ventures, the others being a branch in Hong Kong and a representative office in China.

Speaking to newspersons, Mr Singh said that Allahabad Bank had decided to enter the insurance sector through its subsidiary, Allbank Finance Ltd.

The bank had engaged Ernst & Young (E&Y) to advise it on which insurance segment to enter - life or non-life - and with which partners, he added.

E&Y has also been asked to develop a business model for the bank's merchant banking operations, which it intends to start shortly, also through Allbank Finance Ltd.

Meanwhile, the Rs 300-crore IT initiative of the bank is well under way and a vendor for the core banking software would be selected shortly, Mr Singh said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 23, 2005)
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