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Monday, September 19, 2011

BoM may raise base rate by 25 bps from Oct 1

Pune-based public sector lender Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) is likely to hike its base rate by 25 basis points (bps) from October 1, following the latest policy rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week.

"We will take a decision on September 25 in our asset-liability committee meeting and it's likely that the base rate will be increased by 25 basis points from October 1," Bank of Maharashtra Chairman and Managing Director AS Bhattacharya said on the sidelines of the bank's Foundation Day celebrations here.

He said the bank had not increased its base rate after the previous RBI interest rate hike on July 26. The bank's base rate currently stands at 10.5%.

About credit growth expectations, he said the public sector lender aims to register credit growth of 18% in the current financial year on the back of hardening interest rates.

"Earlier, we aimed for credit growth of around 25% for this fiscal. However, that has been moderated to 18% due to the rise in interest rates and slow uptick in advances growth in the corporate and infrastructure sector," Bhattacharya said.

The bank is also likely to see deposit growth of around 15% this fiscal, he said, adding that there are surplus deposits from the previous last year, which will be deployed by the public sector lender in the current year.

Despite slow growth in advances, the bank expects to achieve a net interest margin of around 3% this year, Bhattacharya said.

The bank also does not see any fall in its asset quality despite interest rate hikes.

"Our asset quality will not fall as there is less concern for defaults due to hardening rate regime. We expect our gross net performing assets (NPA) to be around 2-2.25% and net NPA to be less than 1% by the end of this fiscal," Bhattacharya said.

Bank of Maharashtra, which has a total branch strength of 1,546 across the country, registered a 3% increase in net profit to Rs 122 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal. Its net interest income (NII) rose by 44% to Rs 591.4 crore during this period.

Source: Business Standard


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