The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tayals look at ways to hike stake in Bank of Rajasthan

Mumbai, March 21: The promoters of Bank of Rajasthan (BoR), led by Pravin Kumar Tayal, may raise their stake in the bank to 49 per cent after April this year through the creeping acquisition route in accordance with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) regulations.

BoR chairman P. K. Tayal told The Telegraph that though there are no plans at present to increase the promoters stake from the current level of 43 per cent, it may be done in the next fiscal. “This may be done as soon as I have the funds,” he said.

The current RBI regulations permit promoters of Indian private banks to hold a maximum stake of 49 per cent. Banking circles now expect the central bank to raise the upper limit of an Indian promoter’s holding in a private sector bank to 74 per cent following the budget which permitted 74 per cent foreign direct investment in private banking.

An upbeat Tayal said that for the current fiscal the bank is likely to make record profit, the highest in its history, apart from also declaring a dividend. This will come from a combination of aggressive recovery of non-performing loans and a strong growth in retail banking. In retail banking, the focus will be on housing, consumer and agricultural loans (kisan cards), he said.

BoR is also planning to expand its presence in the country over the next three years. “We plan to increase the number of branches to 500 from the present 375. In three years time, our bank will be present all over the country and it will also have a network of 600 ATMs,” Tayal added.

The bank, he said, has also firmed up alliances with leading banks like UTI Bank and Corporation Bank for sharing ATM networks apart from joining hands with Birla Sun Life and Bajaj Allianz to distribute their products.

Tayal feels net NPAs of the bank will come down to less than 2 per cent of its assets within three years from the present level of less than 8 per cent. Gross NPAs are now put at around 14 per cent.

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