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Kotak best bet for Yes Bank, says country’s top bankers

After an industry event here, Kumar was asked about the likelihood of SBI acquiring a much smaller bank.

SNS | New Delhi |

Two of country’s top bankers– SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar and Axis Bank chief Amitabh Chaudhry has recently said that Kotak Mahindra Bank was best suited to acquire the capital-starved Yes Bank.

On Tuesday, Kumar projected Kotak Mahindra Bank as best suited to acquire the financially stressed Yes Bank.

After an industry event here, Kumar was asked about the likelihood of SBI acquiring a much smaller bank.

Kumar replied, “I think Uday (Kotak—Chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank) is the best candidate to acquire Yes Bank. You need deep pockets.”

When the same question was asked to third-largest lender Axis Bank’s MD and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry, it was answered with the same fashion.

“We (Axis Bank) are a smaller bank. We are trying to ensure that we grow big so that at some stage we can acquire others. So, yes Mr Kotak, they are best suited rather than us,” he said.

When media persons approached Kotak Mahindra Chief Communication Officer Rohit Rao on the issue he said that the speculations and comments made by the bankers reflect their point for view and not his company’s.

However, experts believe that such a move might actually be a win-win situation for both Kotak and Yes Bank, industry observers said.

Last week, Yes Bank said that it is willing to “favourably consider the offer of $500 million of Citax Holdings and Citax Investment Group and the final decision regarding allotment will follow in the next board meeting.”

Yes Bank had earlier indicated that it intends to raise up to $1.2 billion by December and, in the process, give the investors a seat on the company’s board.  The bank has also postponed the decision to approve or decline the binding offer of $1.2 billion – 60 per cent of the total capital the bank aims to raise — submitted by mysterious investor Erwin Singh Braich.

At present, Yes Bank has received multiple non-binding but strong bids from marquee domestic and global institutional investors and family offices.

(With input from agencies)