Pondicherry is the capital the largest city of the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is affectionately referred to as Pondy and "Pdy" in short. Its official name has become Puducherry since 2006, which means new town in Tamil. The city is divided into 42 wards for effective governance. The 1st to 10th wards are located in the north of the city. The Boulevard town has Wards 11?19. The remaining wards are situated in the southwest of the downtown. Pondicherry has been a colony of the Dutch, Portuguese, British and French. However, the French East India Company dominated over the area for a long time and the city is widely known as a French settlement. The economy of Pondicherry is dependent upon the cultivation of crops such as rice, pulses, coconuts, sugarcane and cotton. Being a seaside city, it is also known for its fisheries and seafood. Pondicherry is a popular tourist destination. The city has numerous colonial buildings, churches and temples, within the systematically planned French style avenues, that still retain a colonial aura and attract tourists. The Promenade Beach and Auroville make the city all the more famous. Students from all over the country enroll themselves at the reputed institutions such as the French Institute of Pondicherry and the Pondicherry University.
In 2000, Indian Overseas Bank engaged in an initial public offering (IPO) that brought the governments share in the banks equity down to 75%. In 2001, the IOB acquired the Mumbai-based Adarsha Janata Sahakari Bank. Then in 2009, the bank took over Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank, which was founded in 1969 and had its head office in Pune. Since 2006, Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank had been in administration. It had nine offices in Pune, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Shirpur. The total strength of employees was estimated to be more than 100. On 29 August 2003, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an extension counter at New Kathiresan Temple complex, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon. The IOB opened a representative office in Guangzhou, China in 2005 followed which the bank opened another representative office in Kuala Lumpur and 2009 in Dubai, UAE. In the new millennium, international expansion started once again. The bank took over Bharat Overseas Bank in 2007. After three years, Malaysia granted a commercial banking license to a local bank jointly owned by BOB, IOB, and the Andhra Bank. The new bank named, India International Bank ( IIB Malaysia), began its business in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and had a large population of Indians. The Andhra Bank holds a 25% stake in its joint-venture, BOB owns 40%, and remaining 35% is with IOB. On 31 August 2013, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an offshore banking unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bank also converted its existing Extension Counter at Ceylon into a full-fledged branch.