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PNB set to return Rs 130 cr to govt

New Delhi, May 26: State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) plans to return Rs 130 crore worth of equity to the government and intends to raise Rs 265 crore as Tier-II capital.

“The bank’s board approved the return of 20 per cent of the equity to the government,” said S S Kohli, chairman and managing director of the bank adding the capital to-be-raised would qualify as Tier-II capital.

“The shares will be returned at face value,” Kohli added. “Post buyback, the government will hold 60 per cent of the equity.”

He also said the government might buy back more equity later and the details of the scheme are being worked out.

“It will be related to the market price but then a discounted price might be offered if bad loan provisions and tax concessions are factored in,” he said.

The bank’s profit for the financial year ended March 31, 2003 jumped 48 per cent to Rs 842 crore.

The bank also announced a dividend of Rs 3.50 a share of face value Rs 10. On the Bombay Stock Exchange, PNB’s shares rose 7.5 per cent to Rs 161. Gross income during the year stood at Rs 8,735 crore against Rs 7,626 crore in the year-ago period. Advances during the year grew 17 per cent to Rs 40,228 crore from Rs 34,369 crore a year ago.

Novartis buyback

Novartis AG will increase its stake in Novartis India through a share buyback offer to be made at Rs 250 per share in purchases capped at a level of Rs 60.86 crore. The price announced represents a 5.3 per cent discount to the scrip’s going rate of Rs 264.10 on the BSE.

Novartis India today also announced its fourth quarter results that were disappointing. Net profits of the company fell to Rs 1.32 crore for the quarter against Rs 1.92 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Total income also came down to Rs 86.1 crore from Rs 127.9 crore same period previous year. For the year ended March 31, 2003, the company posted a net profit of Rs 62 crore compared with Rs 65.3 crore in the previous financial year.

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