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Three of India’s top women bankers on Fortune's 2016 list of Most Powerful Women outside US

Three of India's top women bankers, SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI head Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma, are among the Fortune's 2016 '50 most powerful women' based outside the US. The list

India TV Business Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: September 13, 2016 14:10 IST ]
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chanda Kochhar , Shikha Sharma
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chanda Kochhar , Shikha Sharma

Three of India's top women bankers, SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI head Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma, are among the Fortune's 2016 '50 most powerful women' based outside the US.

The list by Fortune is topped by Banco Santander's boss Ana Botin.

Bhattacharya, 60 is ranked second on the list, while Kochhar comes in on the fifth spot and Sharma on the 19th position in the Fortune's '50 Most Powerful Women International' list, which has ranked the women based outside the US. 

Botin, Group Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, Eurozone's largest bank by market value, retains the No. 1 spot in a time of economic and political volatility for all. The 2016 list spans 19 countries. 

"Bhattacharya's profile has risen during her three-year tenure atop India's largest bank," Fortune said. 

SBI Chairperson Bhattacharya, who was widely speculated to succeed Raghuram Rajan as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, has continued her high-profile battle with the bank's bad loans, while courting overseas partners to invest in the stressed assets. 

In May, she also orchestrated SBI's merger with six other groups, a plan that, once complete, will result in one of largest lenders in Asia. 

"Though her term leading the bank is set to expire in October, most expect the government will extend her time so she can see the efforts through," Fortune said. 

ICICI Bank Managing Director and CEO Kochhar, 54, is regarded even by rival bankers as a "visionary", Fortune said. 

"After seven years at the helm of India's largest private sector lender, with consolidated assets of $139 billion, she has overhauled the nation's consumer retail business. 

"Though bad loans took a toll on income growth this year, Kochhar has engaged turnaround experts to help ditch those distressed assets," Fortune said, highlighting her efforts to boost the bank's digital growth and enable female employees to work from home for a year. 

Sharma, 57, 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, Fortune 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, a compilation topped by General Motors CEO Mary Barra. 

The international power list also includes Singapore Telecommunications Group CEO Chua Sock Koong on the 4th spot, Walgreens Boots Alliance Co-COO Ornella Barra (10), chairwoman and co-founder of Chinese real estate developer Longfor Wu Yajun (26), CEO and President, GE China, General Electric Rachel Duan (35), Huawei Technologies Chairman Sun Yafang (38), President, International Markets, MasterCard Ann Cairns (44) and Coca-Cola Amatil Group Managing Director Alison Watkins (47). 

(With agency inputs)

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