ICIC bank, India's biggest consumer lender, said it would look beyond the border and benefit from the estimated 25 million Indians living abroad and the oversea push of companies like Tata group, Indian's biggest group of companies by market value, reported by IHT.
The Chief executive, K.V.Kamath, said the 58 banks in the nation, which have fewer assets collectively than China's largest lender, should expand overseas focusing on certain groups such as expatriates who have have about $34 billion of dollar deposits at banks in India, almost twice the $18.8 billion of deposits held by ICICI Bank as of Dec. 31.
His words came six days after the one-day strike by about 1 million workers in banks protesting government moves to encourage bank mergers and foreign investments. The walkout is a protest against government's move to create a ``small group of large lenders'' by encouraging mergers among India's 27 state-owned banks that labor unions say may lead to job cuts. The government said it wants state-run banks, which make up 80 percent of banking assets, to increase their size and reach so they can compete with international and regional rivals, reported bloomberg on Mar. 22.
State Bank of India, the nation's largest bank, has a market value of $33 billion, compared with $640 billion for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the biggest Chinese lender. The shortage of large lenders forced the government to encourage more merger between state-owned banks, and reduce the tariffs to encourage more foreign investment in the budget this year.
State-owned banks are developing their ways to increase assets besides the government steps. Kamath of ICIC said it is a good oppotunity to serve the India expatriates. The total of whom sent $22.8 billion to family and friends back home in the year to March 31, 2004, equivalent to 5 percent of total banking assets in the country. The companies like Tata group is aiming to expand their service overseas. Ratan N.Tata, the group's chairman, said that the company is aiming for overseas sales to make up 30 percent of total revenue from 20 percent now to spread its risks. The 126-year-old Tata Group, reported the sales of $14 billion in the year ended March 31, 2004, reported Bloomberg.