Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta said the lender isn’t looking at a deal for the bank. His comments come after Indian media reported that DBS was considering purchasing a stake and held discussions with finance ministry officials in New Delhi.
Among Singapore banks, DBS has been the most aggressive in expanding in India. Two years ago, it took over Lakshmi
Ltd. in a deal orchestrated by the country’s central bank, the first time authorities turned to a foreign lender to bail out a struggling local institution. Since then, it’s looking to invest more in its India unit to accelerate growth.
“We are bullish on India,” Gupta said at a briefing on Thursday, citing the country’s strong growth rate. Still, he said his focus in the country is on the bank’s recent deal. “We are not in the market to look at anything else now,” he said.
Gupta has long-standing ambitions to grow in a large emerging market, where banks are ramping up lending in response to growing demand for consumer credit. DBS currently has over 600 branches across 19 Indian states after the acquisition of Lakshmi Vilas Bank.
Read: India Said to Allow Bidders to Buy More Than 40% of IDBI Bank
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that India’s central bank – which is also the country’s banking regulator – will permit investors to buy a stake higher than 40% in
., potentially paving the path for the sale of the lender by the government.