ICICI Bank gets $100-mn capital repatriation from UK subsidiary

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2013 05:56 hrs

ICICI Bank, this country's largest private sector lender, on Tuesday said its wholly-owned banking subsidiary in Britain had repatriated $100 million (Rs 549 crore) of capital.

"This comprises redemption of $50 mn of preference share capital and return of $50 mn on equity capital, after receiving requisite approvals...Post the repatriation, the capital base of ICICI Bank UK is $495 mn and its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) continues to be strong," the bank said. ICICI Bank UK had a CAR of 31.5 per cent at end-December. In September 2012, Business Standard had exclusively reported on ICICI initiating talks with the regulators to repatriate a part of its capital from the UK subsidiary. Slowing business growth and a stringent regulatory environment had led to the decision to bring back the capital from UK.

ICICI Bank UK's total assets were $3.98 billion at the end of December 2012, compared with $3.81 billion a quarter before. The profit after tax for ICICI Bank UK was $5.4 million during the third quarter, compared with $7.7 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. According to senior executives, ICICI Bank UK has been looking at selective lending opportunities to highly rated entities, including trade and transaction banking products and smaller term loans to multinational corporations and subsidiaries of Indian companies in the UK and Europe.

"ICICI already has a strong CAR and (this) return of capital would further improve the same, enhancing (our) ability to optimise capital deployment and return on equity," the bank said. The CAR was 19.53 per cent at the end of the previous quarter, while the tier-I ratio was 13.25 per cent.

The bank also plans to bring back a part of the capital from its subsidiary in Canada. "On Canada, we continue to discuss the capital rationalisation and over a period of the next 12 to 18 months, we are hopeful of getting some capital back, depending on regulatory approvals," a senior executive of the bank had told analysts in January 2013.

ICICI Bank Canada's CAR was 34.5 per cent at the end of December 2012.

Sector analysts and bankers said ICICI had put large capital in its UK and Canadian subsidiaries some years earlier, hoping the growth rate would be high in those businesses. With this rate having decelerated, there is excess capital in the subsidiaries.

ICICI also has a third subsidiary abroad, in Russia. In all other international markets, the bank operates through branches.

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