Monday, November 29, 1999

PNB aims to earn foreign revenue by expanding globally

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Hyderabad, June 17 (PTI) The countrys second largest public sector lender, Punjab National Bank, is on an international expansion spree to increase foreign revenue earnings. According to PNB Chairman and Managing Director K R Kamath, the bank aims to double revenue from international operations by 2013. The bank is set to raise a USD 100 million loan to fund the expansion plans. "Our foreign revenue contribution stands at three per cent. We want to make it six per cent by 2013," Kamath told reporters here today. The bank will be opening a subsidiary in Canada and a representative office in Sydney, Australia, besides upgrading its representative offices in China and Norway. The bank is also set to pick up a 64 per cent stake in JSC Dana Bank in Kazakhstan. Presently, PNB operates in nine countries, with branches in Kabul, Dubai and Hong Kong, representative offices at Almaty, Dubai, Shanghai and Oslo, a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK, a joint venture with Everest Bank in Nepal and Druk PNB Bank in Bhutan. Speaking about the bank''s plans in Kazakhstan, the banker said, "It is very difficult to open a bank on foreign soil. It requires lot of capital. So we decided to acquire controlling stake. We want to tap market in that region before someone else does that." The bank will spend close to USD 24 million to acquire the stake in the Kazakh bank. It also plans to raise USD 100 million to meet expansion plans. The bank is confident of closing the deal by this month end, Kamath said. Speaking about recruitment plans, he said as many as 4,300 personnel, including 1,000 officers, will be recruited this fiscal.

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