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BoB focus on credit offtake

Calcutta, Nov. 23: Faced with decline in its advance portfolio in the first six months of the current financial year, Bank of Baroda (BoB) has decided to focus more on the mid-level companies for credit off-take.

The bank’s advances, which stood at Rs 30,236 crore as on March 31, 2002, have dropped to Rs 28,940 crore as on September 31, 2002.

With big companies shying away, banks like State Bank of India and Bank of India have already shifted their focus to mid-cap companies and the small-scale sector for credit off-take. BoB is a rather late entrant in this sector.

“The big companies are not keen to borrow and there are hardly any major projects. So a conscious decision has been taken to find out mid-level borrowers and meet their financial demands,” said T.P. Banerjee, general manager (eastern region) of BoB.

The bank is also focussing on retail credit for growth in advances. The bank has given retail credit to the tune of Rs 1,754 crore till September 2002 against Rs 1,454 crore till the end of March 2002.

On BoB’s performance the eastern zone, Banerjee said the total deposits of the bank have risen by 8.96 per cent to Rs 3175.38 crore in the first six months of the current fiscal from Rs 2914.28 crore at the beginning of the year.

Though the bank’s advances have declined nationally, the eastern region has shown a 7.64 per cent growth in advances to Rs 1536.74 crore as on September 2002 against Rs 1427.68 crore on March 31, 2002.

The gross non-performing assets of the bank in the eastern region have come down to Rs 132.59 crore from Rs 134.5 crore.

“The eastern zone has made a recovery of Rs 6.05 crore in the first six months. We have also written-off Rs 1.09 crore. However, there has been some fresh addition of NPA which has taken our gross NPA figure to Rs 132.59 crore,” Banerjee said.

BoB has sent notices to 50 borrowers according to the new NPA Ordinance to recover loans worth Rs 150-200 crore. In the eastern region as well it has just started — the bank has sent only one notice so far.

There are 128 branches of BoB in the eastern zone out of which 49 are located in Calcutta.

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