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India's three women bankers in Fortune's list

Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 11:32 PM
New York, Sep 13: State Bank of India's chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI Bank's chief Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma ranked in the top twenty of the '50 Most Powerful Women International' list released by Fortune.

The list, which considered women based outside the US, placed Bhatacharya at the second spot while Kochhar was ranked at fifth. Sharma was on 19th position.

Eurozone's largest bank by market value, Banco Santander's Group Executive Chairman Ana Botin topped the list.

Elaborating the profile of SBI chief, Fortune said: "Bhattacharya's profile has risen during her three-year tenure atop India's largest bank, a 210-year-old institution."

The SBI Chairperson, who was speculated to succeed Raghuram Rajan, as governor of the Reserve Bank of India, orchestrated SBI's merger with six other groups. Once the merger completes, the bank will become one of largest lenders in Asia.

"She has continued her high-profile battle with the bank's bad loans, while courting overseas partners invest in the stressed assets," Fortune said.

Beside, ICICI Bank's Managing Director and CEO Kochhar was acknowledged as a "visionary" even by rival bankers.

"After seven years at the helm of India's largest private sector lender, with consolidated assets of $139 billion, Kochhar has overhauled the nation's consumer retail business," Fortune said while highlighting her effort to augment the bank's performance.

Though bad loans eroded income growth this year, she has engaged turnaround experts to help ditch those distressed assets, it said.

Acknowledging Sharma's contribution to the private lender, Fortune said: "Sharma has grown Axis from an underrepresented bank to the nation's fastest growing private sector lender, with revenue up 15 per cent to $7.9 billion in 2015 and nearly 3000 branches across 1,800 cities and towns."

In May, Sharma issued a $500 million green bond at the London Stock Exchange - Asia's first such certified bond in support of green energy and environmentally friendly projects. It was oversubscribed twice, it said.

Last week, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was ranked second and was the only woman of Indian-origin in Fortune's list of the 50 most powerful women in the US.
Agency: IANS
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