Chaudhuri: SBI Caps to acquire expertise
To help domestic Cos to buy natural resources Mumbai (PTI): SBI Caps, the investment banking arm of SBI, should gain more expertise, in order to...
To help domestic Cos to buy natural resources Mumbai (PTI): SBI Caps, the investment banking arm of SBI, should gain more expertise, in order to help domestic companies in acquiring natural resources which are key for energy security, chairman Pratip Chaudhuri has said. "There is a case to expand their (SBI Caps') expertise, particularly help the domestic companies look at resources. Domestic companies are looking for coal resources, gas resources, etc. They can be more active," he said. SBI Capital Markets is very active in the domestic debt market and has also acted as merchant banker for some equity issuances. It is also the sole member of M&A International from the country. A slew of companies, both state-run as well as private ones, have been aggressively acquiring assets abroad given the lack of reserves in the country and in some cases like coal, due to the lack of requisite clearances to mine. When asked why the 1986-incorporated SBI Caps has limited itself to being a loan syndicator primarily, Chaudhuri said, "in the debt market, they have a natural advantage. People think that if you give a mandate to SBI Caps, it is much easier to get the loan." He, however, added that SBI Caps has participated in all major equity issues last fiscal, including that of NTPC and SAIL. Chaudhuri, however, declined to comment when asked if the credibility of the company has been affected due to recent events, especially the inability to salvage the situation for banks in the Kingfisher account, saying he is only a non-executive chairman of SBI Caps and that it won't be proper for him to comment and as the non-executive chairman, his job is to have an overall picture of the business. However, on the Kingfisher fiasco, he said that SBI Caps was asked to recommend CDR, but it is up to the individual bankers to implement its proposal. Among the other subsidiaries like general and life insurance ventures and credit cards, Chaudhuri said the bank was unlikely to spin off any of them into independent companies keeping the interests of the joint venture partners in mind. On factoring business, Chaudhuri confirmed that it has indeed been put on the block but said there are some valuation issues which are proving to be a stumbling block. SBI Caps has been given the mandate to find a buyer, Chaudhuri said, adding, "they are looking out, there are some valuation issues, I have not put a time-line, but we are winding down that business because today you can do factoring in the bank itself." SBI to hire 10,000 in FY-14 Mumbai (PTI): In a bid to spruce up its operations, the State Bank of India (SBI) is mulling to hire about 10,000 officers and employees in the current fiscal. "We will be hiring 10,000 people this year, including 1,500 probationary officers, for which the process has already started in April," SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said. He further added that around 7,500 are expected to retiring this year. "We have upgraded our branches, all have become air-conditioned. We have adequately staffed our branches. In the last quarter, we recruited 20,000 assistant grade employees at front office," he noted. Further, he revealed that the bank has plans to open about 1,200 branches in the country and another eight branch offices overseas, including China and UK, this year 2013-14. Interestingly, the Public sector banks have hired around 63,000 persons in the last financial year, while SBI alone recruited 20,000 staff and 1,200 officer level employees. The other public sector banks hired 22,000 officers and 20,000 clerical staff in fiscal year 2012-13.