INVESTMENT BANKING | Staff Reporter, India

Indian banks join M&A hunt in Europe

Japan isn’t the only country looking to strike M&A fortunes in Europe.

India has set its sights on its own series of M&As in Europe and view the staggering deleveraging problems besetting European banks as a business opportunity to acquire quality assets on the cheap.

Mumbai-based ICICI Bank Ltd, India’s second largest bank in India in assets; the third largest by market capitalization and one of the “Big Four” banks, is turning its sights on Europe.

“Some European banks are actually shedding great quality Indian assets at very attractive prices. We will see many Indian banks coming forward to pick up these loans,” said Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Chief Executive Officer.

She believes the deleveraging would have a long-term impact on trade finance and the funding of M&As since European banks have been large players in these businesses. India’s strong banking system will make this possible.

“What is still strong for us is the domestic consumption, the demography. We have very strong banks and a prudent regulatory environment,” she said.

“I think the coming financial year would be better because many things would actually start correcting. Inflation would start slowing. The only question would be when and at what rate.”

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