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100-Year Old Tamilnad Mercantile Bank To Be Listed Soon

The 100-year-old Thoothukudi-based Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) has always made for a heady cocktail.  Incorporated as Nadar Bank Limited on May 11, 1921, it underwent a name change on November 27, 1962. Since then, it has come to be known as Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited. Promoted by the Nadar community, the bank has often found itself at the centre of news. The community bank hit national headlines post-liberalisation in the 90s when the Ruias of the Essar group acquired TMB shares by cashing in on the internecine quarrel within the promoter-groups. But the Ruias faced resistance. And, the Reserve Bank of India, too, was cool to their entry into the banking space. The acquisition of TMB shares by the Ruias has time and again kicked up intense political battle in Tamil Nadu with parties of all hues, picking cudgels on behalf of the Nadar community to reclaim TMB. The Ruias exited by selling the TMB shares to serial entrepreneur C. Sivasankaran as sale consideration for buying the Delhi cellular licence from him. He, too, had to exit after a peace was brokered during the Vajpayee regime. Ramesh Vagal-led (former Pepsico India head) group chipped in to buy a part of TMB shares.  Still mired in legal rows, the bank has now plans to go public. A community bank is getting a new tag now.