HSBC snaps up RBS banking assets in India

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Global bank HSBC agreed on Friday to buy the Indian commercial and retail banking assets of British state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland, expanding its base in the emerging nation.

"HSBC ... has agreed to acquire The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc's retail and commercial banking businesses in India," the group said in an official statement.

The banking giant said it will pay RBS the net asset value of the businesses when the deal closes in the first half of next year, plus an additional 95 million dollars.

"The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the first half of 2011," HSBC added.

The RBS Indian divisions have a gross asset value of 1.8 billion dollars, as at 31 March 2010.

"This transaction is an important addition to our existing network and testament to our ambition to expand our footprint in India," said HSBC's India boss Naina Lal Kidwai.

"India is home to about 1.15 billion people, representing 17 percent of the world's population.

"We see tremendous growth potential in this country, both in helping domestic and international companies capture opportunities in India's growing trade and investment flows with the world and in meeting the financial needs of its rising affluent consumer market."

© 2010 AFP

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