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Punjab National Bank to become India's 4th-largest lender if merger goes ahead

Punjab National Bank will become India's fourth largest bank by assets after absorbing Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India under the Indian government's plan to merge 10 state-owned banks into four bigger lenders in a bid to restore the sector's financial health.

Total assets and net loans of the merged lender will amount to 12.127 trillion Indian rupees and 6.887 trillion rupees, respectively, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. It will also become the country's second-largest state-owned bank after State Bank of India.

Also, the government said it would infuse 160 billion rupees of capital into Punjab National Bank and 16 billion rupees into United Bank of India ahead of the proposed merger.

Fitch Ratings said Oct. 4 that Punjab National Bank is expected to gain 250 to 300 basis points of market share in both assets and deposits as a result of the merger. The rating agency added that the equity injection prior to the merger will help mitigate any merger-related pressure on the bank's earnings and asset quality.

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As of Oct. 16, US$1 was equivalent to 71.41 Indian rupees.