BUSINESS STANDARD: Public sector Indian Bank has undertaken initiatives to increase business at its overseas branches in Sri Lanka and Singapore, a top official has said.
“Our operations (in overseas) are actually profitable. We have started ramping up activities in both the centres,” the bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Kishor Kharat told PTI.
He said the bank had taken steps to increase business levels as there was ‘slight stagnancy earlier’ (in the bank operations).
“Having understood the policies, we are in a position to grow in the Singapore market. In the nine-month period (ending December 31, 2017) alone, our business there improved by (R.s 13 billion) Rs. 1,300 crore”, he said.
By end of the current fiscal, the business levels in Singapore “will be increased by Rs. 15 billion to Rs 16 billion,” he said.
On the Sri Lankan operations, Kharat said the business in the two branches grew by Rs 1.5 billion as of December 2017.
“Sri Lankan operations are slightly smaller than Singapore operations. Before March (2018), we will be in a position to show a growth of close to Rs. 5 billion there.”
On whether the bank was looking at expanding overseas presence, he said two branches were planned, one each in Dubai and other a “overseas banking operation” branch in Ahmedabad.
“We have applied for two licenses. One, we are planning to open in AFC Dubai and the other at GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), Ahmedabad. It will be overseas banking operation branch,” he said.
On diluting the government stake in the bank as per SEBI regulations, Kharat said there was enough time for that and the bank would raise funds at the “opportune time.”
“Government of India has not given us any capital. We have adequate capital. Today Government of India has 81.87 percent holding in bank.
As per SEBI regulations, we have to bring it down to less than 75 percent. To comply with SEBI, we will have to come out with issuance of fresh equity”, he said.
Kharat said for fund raising there was time for the bank.
“There is still time for us. By next financial year, we have to comply with the guidelines (of SEBI). So when the market is good and when there is opportune time, we will be raising some funds”, he said.
To a query about Non-Performing Assets, he said the bank was able to contain NPA in the last one year and planned to bring down the Gross NPA to less than six per cent and Net NPA to less than three per cent.