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Corporation on the prowl for a good bank

Calcutta, Sept. 9: Corporation Bank is on the lookout for a “good” acquisition.

Speaking to reporters here today chairman and managing director K. Cherian Varghese said, “We are open to the idea of acquiring a bank. Our net worth is Rs 2,144.45 crore and we are in a comfortable position for an acquisition, provided we get a good bank with strong fundamentals.”

However, he refused to comment which are the banks that he is targeting and whether any talks have been initiated.

“The Indian banking industry will undergo consolidation in the coming years and will witness a lot of mergers and acquisitions,” he said.

The bank, which has an asset base of Rs 9,500 crore, plans to acquire assets worth Rs 2,000 crore this fiscal.

“We have the provision to acquire assets worth Rs 5,000 crore. But this year we are targeting to acquire assets of Rs 2,000 crore. We are looking at securitised assets and retail assets where the return will be 20 to 25 per cent,” Varghese said. The bank is looking at good mid-segment assets.

The bank is aiming to increase its advance portfolio by 20 per cent to Rs 11,000 crore in the current financial year. In the last financial year the bank’s advances was to the tune of Rs 9,500 crore. The bank aims to achieve a deposit base of Rs 21,000 crore this year as against Rs 18,500 crore last year.

The bank has made a substantial profit of Rs 38 crore on government securities in the first quarter of the current fiscal. The bank has registered a profit of Rs 95 crore in the first quarter.

The net non-performing assets of the bank are at 2.3 per cent of the total advances. The bank had made a recovery of Rs 80 crore in the last fiscal. The capital adequacy ratio of the bank is 18 per cent.

Varghese was in the city to open two new branches in the city—one at Baguihati and the other at NUJS Campus, Salt Lake. The total number of branches of the bank is 663.

Almost 90 per cent of the bank’s business is being handled by computerised branches. The bank has already enabled payment of premium of life insurance policies by its clients through the internet. In its effort to reach out to a larger clientele, the bank has launched a campaign to open more savings bank accounts.

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