The Telegraph
Thursday , May 22 , 2014
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Six-fold rise in Uco profit

Arun Kaul in Calcutta on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta, May 21: Uco Bank has posted a net profit of Rs 284.70 crore for the fourth quarter ended March against Rs 49.56 crore a year ago.

Net interest income rose 15.87 per cent to Rs 1,562 crore from Rs 1,348 crore a year ago on the back of a growth in retail banking. Revenues from retail banking rose to Rs 1,436.17 crore from Rs 1,244.89 crore in the year-ago period.

Gross NPA (non-performing assets) as a percentage of total advances fell to 4.32 per cent from 5.42 per cent a year ago. In value terms, gross NPA stood at Rs 6,621.37 crore against Rs 7,130.09 crore a year ago. Provisions (other than tax) and contingencies decreased to Rs 904.64 crore from Rs 976.66 crore a year ago.

Chairman and managing director Arun Kaul attributed the improvement in the asset quality to lower slippages and improved recovery and the upgradation of bad assets.

“During the quarter, our slippages were slightly more than Rs 1,700 crore,” Kaul said, adding that this was less than the recovery and upgradation.

The bank recovered Rs 1,860.39 crore during the quarter and earned Rs 925 crore by selling NPAs to asset restructuring companies.

Kaul said most of the fresh slippages were in small accounts. “I don’t think recovery would be a problem. Most of these NPAs can be upgraded and recovered.”

He said the bank had expanded its network and was focussing more on retail lending rather than corporate credit. “Earlier a substantial part of lending used to be towards large corporate credit. Over the years, the bank has shifted its focus to retail, medium and small enterprises and agriculture,” Kaul said, adding that the bank will continue to focus on low-risk business.