The country’s central bank announced a raft of new regulations this week aimed at encouraging foreign-owned banks to expand in the country and potentially even acquire domestic Indian banks, according to a report by Reuters
The Reserve Bank of India will now allow foreign banks such as HSBC and Citigroup to transition from a branch structure to becoming wholly owned subsidiaries, which means that they would be treated on nearly the same terms as local lenders.
This would mean these banks would be able to open a lot more outlets across the country, which has the world’s second largest population at 1.27 billion people.
But foreign banks may have to give something back in return – they could face having to earmark 40% of their lending to the ‘priority sector’, which includes under-served parts of the economy.
The foreign banks are said to be considering the implications, with one unnamed source saying only those institutions with retail banking ambitions would consider it worth the trade-off.
Other foreign banks in the country include Standard Chartered and Singapore’s DBS.
The group, which includes financial services among its product offerings, says it has seen significant cost savings from adopting a more proactive recruiting stance, according to an article on shortlist.com.au
The Wall Street Journal reports that Beijing has approved the first US exchange-traded funds that track stocks in mainland China as the country opens its capital markets to international investors seeking better exposure to the world’s second-biggest economy.
Macquarie Group is set to make a 500 million pound all-cash offer for Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish Widows asset management arm in the next two weeks, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald that quotes a Wall Street Journal article.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is focusing on how to connect its Asia-based business better to the UK as it conducts a major review of its operations, says Singapore’s Business Times.
Ten percent of RBS’s business in Asia is linked to the bank’s UK operations. but the bank sees opportunities to support UK customers trading in Asia, Asian clients doing business in the UK and Europe, and to attract new customers by focusing on RBS’s competitive strengths in debt capital markets, cash management, trade finance, and risk management, including forex and rates.
Deutsche Bank China has received approval from the Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission to set up a sub-branch in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, according to Asian Banking & Finance. Other foreign banks in the zone include DBS and Citigroup.
New research published in Asian Investor reveals that Hong Kong is secondly only to New York in terms of the number of billionaires, boasting 75 to the Big Apple’s 96. And it is definitely the place to be if you want to be a billionaire, with many Asian billionaires now focusing on healthcare-related assets and direct investments.