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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SBI plans to acquire 20-30 pc stake in TMFL: O P Bhatt

Government-owned Banking giant, State Bank of India has approached the Reserve Bank for permission to acquire an upto 30 per cent stake in Tata Motors Finance, its Chairman O P Bhatt on Saturday said.

"We have written to the Reserve Bank. We are waiting a response," Bhatt told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

SBI would prefer to acquire a 20-30 per cent stake in Tata Motor's vehicle financing arm, as acquiring a stake beyond that level would require approvals from the Government, Bhatt said.

"(To acquire) beyond 30 per cent we have to go the government for clearance. So we will take somewhere between 20 and 30 per cent. That means we need the approval only from the Reserve Bank of India," Bhatt said.

Replying to a query on SBI's participation to part-finance the Bharti-Zain deal, Bhatt said that the lender has not committed any loans to Bharti, although it has been discussing the issue with the telecom major.

"We have not committed anything (loan to Bharti)," Bhatt said.

Last month, Bhatt had said that the acquisition would enable SBI to strengthen its presence in the commercial vehicle segment and particularly to gain synergies in bus and trucks business.

Two years ago, SBI had acquired a majority 91 per cent stake in factoring services firm Global Trade Finance (GTFL).

SBI is the largest bank in the country, with a total branch strength of 12,448.

SBI reported a flat net profit of Rs 2,479 crore in the third quarter ended December 31, 2009 as against Rs 2,478 crore in the corresponding period last year.

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