ICICI To Pay Off Entire Merger Liability By Next Fiscal-end

Kolkata, November 28: | Updated: Nov 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
ICICI Bank will pay off the entire liability accruing from the merger of the erstwhile ICICI Ltd with it by the end of the financial year 2003-04, according to the banks executive director, Chanda Kochhar.

She said that the total liability following the merger was around Rs 42,000 crore. "We want to pay off Rs 22,000 crore by the end of the current financial year 2002-03 and the remaining Rs 20,000 crore will be paid off by the end of the next financial year of 2003-04," she said at a press conference here Thursday. She also said that the liability would be paid off at low interest rates.

Ms Kochhar said that ICICI Bank had decided to open 25 more branches throughout the country by March 2003, thus taking the total number of branches to 465. "Out of the 25 new branches six will be in the eastern region," she said.

She said that retail financing would be the key focus of the bank during the current financial year considering the growth potential of the market.

"Currently, the total retail finance market stands at Rs 70,000 crore and it is expected to go up to Rs 1,00,000 crore by the next year. ICICI Bank wants to take advantage of this growing market," she said.

During the six-month period April-September 2002, ICICI Bank had disbursed Rs 6,000 crore of retail loan as against Rs 2,000 crore in the half year a year ago. "Out of the Rs 6,000 crore ..., around Rs 3,000 crore were on account of housing loan, around Rs 1,500 crore was on account of car loans and the remaining Rs 1,500 crore was on account of other sectors of retail credit," she said. She also claimed that ICICI Bank currently had a 30 per cent share of the countrys car-financing market.