ICICI’s Kochhar Says Bank May Grow at 25 Percent a Year in India

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Chanda Kochhar, chief executive officer of India’s second-largest lender ICICI Bank Ltd., comments on the bank’s expansion and fund raising plans. Kochhar spoke today in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Growth is getting driven by domestic consumption and by the investments that are taking place. As our GDP grows by 9 percent per annum, banks like us can grow at upwards of 25 percent per annum.

“The approach would be to grow organically and that’s why the plan to add about 500 branches every year. But along the way if you come across a great opportunity, at the right price, that makes a good amount of cost benefit sense, we would grab it.

“Currently we are very comfortable on equity. We are operating at a capital adequacy ratio of almost 20 percent, which is probably the highest amongst the various banks in the world. So we don’t have any immediate need to raise equity capital.

“But we do keep raising debt both domestically and internationally. Last month, we just finished raising $1 billion of debt from the global markets and whenever the timing is right we would keep raising funds.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Francine Lacqua in Davos at flacqua@bloomberg.net; Ruth David in Mumbai at rdavid9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net