India public banks seen merging in 2017

To meet over $40 billion in capital needs, the country's government is likely to begin merging state banks from next year, says Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Bank of Baroda.

India will probably begin merging its 27 public sector banks by next year, with Bank of Baroda among the likely consolidators, its executive chairman Ravi Venkatesan said on Thursday.

Speaking to FinanceAsia at Credit Suisse’s 19th annual Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong, the former chief executive officer of Microsoft India predicted that the Indian government would look to strengthen the struggling institutions by melding them into larger entities.

“The government has come to the conclusion you can’t have 27 public sector banks,” he said. The point of view is emerging that consolidation is inevitable and necessary.”

Venkatesan said this is because...

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