BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, India

HSBC to expand reach in India

HSBC is in the final stages of acquiring the bulk of the Royal Bank of Scotland's Indian business. HSBC expects the Reserve Bank of India, the central bank, to approve the takeover within the next two weeks. Both banks are expected to confirm the approval in separate statements. HSBC will then take ownership of most of RBS's 30 branches in India. The deal, first announced in 2010, is likely to see HSBC pay some US$109 million for RBS' business, which also includes RBS's commercial banking operations in India. The sale is part of RBS' ongoing efforts to reduce its international business to comply with tougher banking rules in the Eurozone. RBS, however, will retain an investment banking presence in India.

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