'State Bank of Hyderabad would not be first to be merged with SBI'

CHENNAI: State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), the largest among the five associate banks of SBI, would probably be the last bank to be merged with the parent bank in view of the political situation prevailing in Andhra Pradesh over its division to create Telangana, a top SBH official said today. 

"It (SBH) will not be merged at the moment because of the prevailing situation in Andhra Pradesh right now. It will not be the first bank to be merged. It will probably be the last," SBH Managing Director M Bhagavantha Rao said replying to a query by reporters here. 

SBIBSE -3.03 % Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri had last week said all the five subsidiaries -- State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and State Bank of Patiala -- would be merged with SBI in the next 10 years. 

Rao, who was here for the inauguration of the bank's zonal office, said SBH would also open five all-women bank branches, in response to 
Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's budget speech. 

"These branches would be opened in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Visakhapatam and Salem on October 2 this year," Rao said. 

Having a stronghold in the Telangana area with over 1,200 branches, Rao said the bank wanted to expand more in the southern states, which bordered Andhra Pradesh. 

"SBH would open 14 branches in Tamil Nadu and two in Kerala in the next six months. We have already opened 12 branches in 10 months in Tamil Nadu," he said. 

SBH had named the current fiscal as 'MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) year' and had set a target of achieving Rs 9,000 crore of additiional business from the sector, against which it had already clocked Rs 1,500 crore, since April 1 this year. 

"We are confident of reaching the target within February," Rao said.