EMKE's Yousuffali eyes India bank stake - report

Owner of supermarket chain Lulu eyes 4.99 percent in Catholic Syrian Bank

Yusuffali MA, EMKE Group founder

Yusuffali MA, EMKE Group founder

Abu Dhabi-based businessman Yousuffali MA, owner of the Lulu supermarket chain, is looking to acquire a minority stake in India's Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB), it was reported.

The managing director of EMKE Group has requested permission from Indian authorities to purchase a 4.99 percent in the Kerala-based lender from Sura Chanrichawla, the Economic Times said.

“I’m not a banker and I have no intention to control the bank… but if RBI (Reserve Bank of India) allows it, I will consider buying another 3 percent,” Yousuffali said.

Thailand-based businessman Chanrichawla, the single largest stakeholder in CSB, is being forced to reduce his stake to 10 percent or below by the RBI. The banking regulator has extended the deadline twice in recent years with the current cut-off date set for March 31.

CSB is one of the oldest private sector banks in India. Established in 1920, the lender has a strong presence in rural parts of the country.

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