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Public sector Punjab National Bank (PNB) plans to buy a stake in Kazakhstan-based lender Metrokombank, according to a Reuters report.  

Talks are at a very preliminary stage as several things need to be looked into, including regulatory approval, the report said, quoting a Metrokombank statement. The size and nature of the potential transaction were not disclosed. 

Metrokombank's assets as on August 2009 stand at $35 million. It is It is a small-sized bank that ranks 30th among the country's 37 banks in terms of assets.

PNB, which has a representative office in Almaty (the largest city in Kazakhstan), has been aggressively looking at expanding its footprint overseas. It is operational in eight countries and is planning to open more overseas offices in Shanghai, Dubai and Norway. It is also looking to set up a subsidiary in Vancouver, Canada and a joint venture in Bhutan.

PNB posted a net profit of Rs 3,090.8 crore for the year-ended March 31, 2009 against Rs 2,048.7 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

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