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State Bank net vaults 28% to Rs 3105 crore

Calcutta, June 19: State Bank of India’s (SBI) net profit in 2002-03 jumped 27.69 per cent to Rs 3,105 crore, boosted by an increase in net interest earnings and fee income. The dividend for the year has been set at 85 per cent, up from the 60 per cent that was handed out in 2001-02.

Operating profits stood at Rs 7,775.40 crore compared with Rs 6,044.83 crore in 2001-02, a rise of 28.63 per cent.

Addressing a press conference here today, SBI chairman A. K. Purwar said net interest income at Rs 9,977.56 crore was higher than Rs 9,081 crore in 2001-02. “There was a growth in interest on funds deployed in treasury operations as well as on money lent out as advances.”

Income from treasury operations went up 13.5 per cent, helped by a rise in profit on sale of government securities from Rs 341 crore to Rs 1,715 crore.

Domestic deposits swelled Rs 26,412 crore in 2002-03, while the loan portfolio grew 15.2 per cent to Rs 1,23,850 crore.

The bank, with a capital adequacy ratio of 13.50 per cent, went a long way in pruning its pile of bad loans — net non-performing assets (NPAs) — to 4.5 per cent from 5.63 per cent in the previous year. The bank has set itself a target of reducing it by another 1 percentage point in the current financial year. An additional Rs 500 crore has been earmarked to hedge against NPAs in 2002-03.

Talking about the year ahead, Purwar said the growth target for advances has been fixed at 16 per cent, while that for deposits has been pegged at 18 per cent. “The trend in the first three months has been in tune with the goals we have set for this year,” he added. The SBI chief said he favoured softer interest rates, but what is needed at this juncture is stability.

SBI, Purwar said, will fork out Rs 26,000 crore to redeem Resurgent India Bonds (RIB) maturing in September.

Overseas operations

SBI has decided to increase its presence in the international markets. The aim is to get 67 branches up and running in 36 countries by the end of this fiscal.

New branches will be opened in West Asia and South African countries. “We want to increase our overseas operations to $ 100 million this year,” Purwar said.

Subsidiaries

SBI Gilts will be merged with Discount & Finance House of India (DFHI) in a month, while a partner will be found for SBI Mutual Fund.

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