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ABN Amro eyes majority stake in local banks

New Delhi, June 6: Dutch banking major ABN Amro NV will expand its Indian operations by acquiring a majority stake in an Indian bank, a senior official said.

Jan Peter Schmittmann, senior executive vice-president, said the Dutch bank is studying domestic banks which have a large network of branches for “acquisition”.

“We are looking at options to acquire stake in Indian banks, which have a sufficient spread, where we would have 51 per cent management control,” he said.

The government in this year’s budget had raised the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in private banks to 74 per cent from 49 per cent.

The foreign bank, which was earlier unwilling to expand its Indian operations due to a low FDI cap, has since then been exploring the option of acquiring domestic banks.

“Once we find the right target it will take a couple of weeks to complete the acquisition process,” Schmittmann said.

The Dutch bank’s Indian operations, which has an asset base of Rs 10,000 crore, today launched a private banking service that will offer guidance on investments in stocks, funds and insurance policies.

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