Centurion Gets Breather For Sewing Up Balance-sheet

Mumbai, June 28: | Updated: Jun 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Centurion Bank has received an extension of three months for publishing its annual results for the fiscal 2001-02 from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The bank has notified the stock exchanges and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) about the same.

A listed entity has to publish its resuts within three months from the close of the fiscal.

The bank will use this time to clean up its balance sheet.

Overall, the bank is said to have posted a smal operating profit for the fiscal 2001-02. The bank’s auditors are also being changed from fiscal 2002-03.

Said a banking source: “The bank will use these three months to clean up the balance sheet.

There is a legacy from the last few years and instead of cleaning up the balance sheet over the next three or four years, it makes sense to take a big hit once and clean up the balance sheet in one shot.

It should not be that new problems come to light every year and the bank has to do it every year.

We want to be doubly sure that nothing comes out after this time. The balance sheet will provide a much clearer picture after this.”

Deloitte Haskins & Sells is conducting due diligence on the bank for a third party, but the identity of the third party is not known. Banking sources say that this time around something certain is likely to happen and discussions are on with the RBI as well. But they added that HDFC Bank is not the one which is in the fray.Deloitte Haskins & Sells is having discussions with the merchant bankers (DSP Merrill Lynch) as of now.