Kotak Mahindra Bank acquires the business loan portfolio of Barclays in India

Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank has acquired the business loans portfolio of the Indian arm of Barclays for an undisclosed sum. With this acquisition, Kotak will gain access to 6,000 customers with total loan book of around Rs 700 crore, Kotak disclosed in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

“The strategic intent behind this acquisition is to further grow our business loans portfolio for chosen client segment. Business loans are an important element in our segmented offering. This acquisition also gives us a very good set of customers who can be offered our suite of banking products. We have an appetite for further acquisition which can strategically create value for us and will actively seek opportunities,” said Paul Parambi, head-Group Strategy, Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The group is also exploring potential acquisition targets in banking, asset management, broking and other areas of the financial services sector and hopes to strike a deal this year.

According to reports, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Danish online trader Saxo Bank are independently looking to buy a significant stake in online brokerage firm Sharekhan. The two firms are in talks with the private equity arm of Citigroup and Barings Asia, the private equity owners of Sharekhan.

The group head, Uday Kotak, said at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos that some deal could be expected this year.

For Barclays, the latest deal comes just over a year after it sold its ‘performing’ credit card portfolio of around 1.7 lakh cards to Standard Chartered Bank for around $36 million. The stressed or non-performing portfolio of around two lakh cards was acquired by Kotak Mahindra Bank for $54.5 million, due to higher outstanding on it.

It had also been looking to exit its other retail operations in the country. The realignment of its businesses in India is part of a broader global strategy of focusing on profitable businesses and exiting from non-core verticals in India.

It also has investment banking business through Barclays Capital and Barclays Wealth, its private wealth management unit.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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