After GTB, All Eyes On Centurion Bank

New Delhi, July 28 | Updated: Jul 29 2004, 06:22am hrs
After the Global Trust Bank (GTB) fiasco, all eyes are now set on Centurion Bank. Analysts tracking the sector said that the bank had reported a net loss of Rs 105.1 crore for fiscal 2003-04. Its capital adequacy ratio also fell to 4.4 per cent against the stipulated 9 per cent.

Centurion Bank had also reported a net loss of Rs 25 crore in 2002-03. Analysts said that it should immediately be put under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) scannner.

To avoid another GTB-kind of fiasco, the RBI must start keeping a track on the bank, an analyst said. Other banks, like Bank of Punjab and Lakshmivilas Bank, have also registered a comparatively slower growth. To be on the safer side, he added that the RBI must also keep an eye on the banks which have been registering a relatively slower growth in the last couple of years.

Interestingly, according to a study conducted by Icra Ltd on the banking industry, the larger banks in India have been growing bigger while the smaller/regional banks have been shrinking.

Most of the smaller banks needed to be kept under watch, the analyst added. However, all public sector banks have registered a healthy growth and have overshot the capital adequacy ratio.

The Panaji-based Centurion Bank is headed by Rana Talwar. The other stakeholders are Bank Muscat, Sabre Capital, Keppel Corporation, Singapore and Asian Development Bank, Manila (ADB).

Meanwhile, the RBI has announced the merger of GTB with Oriental Bank of Commerce. The non-performing assets of GTB have been estimated at Rs 1,500 crore.