‘No question’ of India’s Yes Bank merging with SBI: administrator

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s Yes Bank <YESB.NS> will not be merged with State Bank of India <SBI.NS>, which is set to infuse funds in the beleaguered lender, the newly appointed administrator leading the rescue plan said in a television interview on Monday.

“There is absolutely no question of a merger,” Prashant Kumar, the administrator, told the CNBC TV18 channel.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday took control of Yes Bank, after the lender – which is laden with bad debts – failed to raise the capital it needs to stay above mandated regulatory requirements.

Placing Yes Bank under a 30-day moratorium, the central bank imposed limits on withdrawals to protect depositors and said it would work on a revival plan. The move spooked depositors, who rushed to withdraw funds from the bank.

Kumar, a former finance chief at SBI, assured depositors their money was safe and that the moratorium on Yes Bank might be lifted much before the deadline on April 3 and normal banking operations might resume as early as Friday.

SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said on Saturday the state-run bank would need to invest up to 24.5 billion rupees ($331 million) to buy a 49% stake in Yes Bank as part of the initial phase of the rescue deal, adding that the survival of troubled lender was a “must”.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy; Editing by Euan Rocha and Tom Hogue)

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