FinMin Clears Centurion Bank Ahead Of Its Rights Issue

New Delhi, Aug 6 | Updated: Aug 7 2004, 05:30am hrs
Finance ministry has given a clean chit to Centurion Bank just before its proposed rights issue of Rs 90.8 crore slated by the end of this month.

There is no problem with Centurion Bank, finance secretary DC Gupta said here.

Although there have been complaints on the operations of some banks, including Global Trust Bank (GTB), Mr Gupta said overall the private banks are doing well in the country.

When contacted, Centurion Bank chairman Rana Talwar said, The bank is in great shape, the balance sheet has been cleaned up, business growth has been good and more capital is coming into the bank.

After Mr Talwar, the former Standard Chartered Bank Plc chief, took over reins of the erstwhile ailing bank, foreign investors infused Rs 154 crore in Centurion Bank.

The shareholding of foreign investors in the bank has gone up to 70 per cent. The main strategic investor Bank of Muscat now holds 33 per cent, while Keppel has 15 per cent, Sabre Capital 7-8 per cent and Asian Development Bank 4 per cent.

Centurion Bank also raised Rs 43 crore in the form of tier-II capital in June. Mr Talwar said the bank would raise another Rs 90.8 crore through a rights issue by the end of this month, which would take its capital adequacy ratio to more than 10 per cent and further strengthen the financial strength of Centurion Bank.

Centurion Bank managing director Shailendra Bhandari said the best part of the bank was that 80 per cent of its assets was retail portfolio, which is growing by 50 per cent.