RBI allows Bandhan Bank to open 40 new branches

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The Bandhan Bank stock rose in early trade after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed the lender to open new branches.  The bank would add another 40 branches by December 31, taking the total number to 978, the Kolkata-based lender’s founder and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh said on Wednesday.

The bank opened five new branches yesterday.

The stock has been gaining for the last two days and has risen 7.58% during the period. It opened with a gain of 3.48% today and touched an intra day high of 514.20, up 8.63% compared to its previous close of 473.35 on the BSE.

The stock has gained 16.80% during the last one month.

Earlier, the central bank had halted Bandhan Bank expansion as it was unable to bring down the shareholding of the non-operative financial holding company to 40 percent within three years of starting operations. The Reserve Bank of India, which had said the bank would have to take its permission for expansion, allowed it to open 40 branches.

Ghosh said he now looking to reduce the promoter stake in the bank through mergers and acquisitions. The lender will approach the RBI to open more branches in the future, as and when required, Ghosh said.

The Economic Times reported that Bandhan Bank’s two senior executives— retail banking head Rahul Johri and microfinance chief Prasanta Kumar Sahu quit recently.

Ghosh said the exits had happened three months ago and many more people have since joined the bank. “Someone joined from State Bank of India Ltd., someone joined from Yes Bank Ltd.’s retail segment, one joined from wholesale banking at Deutsche Bank, and another digital banking at HDFC Ltd.”

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