South Indian Bank to finance professional colleges

Kochi, January 23: | Updated: Jan 24 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Thrissur-based South Indian Bank has forayed into financing professional colleges. Under the new state government policy to promote self-financing professional colleges, several groups have ventured into starting such institutions.

According to bank chairman A Sethumadhavan, the bank has fully financed two medical colleges and seven engineering colleges that are to come up in the state soon. The bank was also providing full guarantee to the banks, he added. Meanwhile the bank has had a very good performance during the first nine months of this fiscal. The net profit went up by 45.9 per cent to touch Rs 45.35 crore compared to Rs 31.08 crore for the first nine months of the last fiscal. The entire profit during last fiscal was Rs 41.5 crore. The operating profit grew 88.29 per cent from Rs 67.98 crore to Rs 128 crore. Income rose to Rs 452.53 crore to Rs 540.85 crore and total expenses increased meagerly from Rs 384.55 crore to Rs 412.85 crore. The non-interest income grew to Rs 89.29 crore from Rs 48.02 crore. While the ratio of operating profit to average working funds increased from 1.92 per cent to 3 per cent, the net interest margin increased from 2.91 per cent to 3.12 per cent. u

The bank brought down the average cost of deposits from 9.55 per cent to 8.29 per cent, the yield on advances declined from 13.57 per cent to 12.28 per cent in line with the falling interest rate scenario, the chairman said.

The return on average assets also increased from 0.88 per cent to 1.06 per cent and the per employee business rose from Rs 1.54 crore to Rs 2.12 crore. The EPS (annualised) rose from Rs 11.57 crore to Rs 16.89 crore during the year. On the NPA front, he said, the bank would bring it down to 6 per cent by the end of this fiscal.

On the business front, the overall year-to-year business showed an impressive growth of 27.15 per cent despite the recession. Deposits increased from Rs 4,396.88 crore to Rs 5,467.99 crore, advances from Rs 2,506.13 crore to Rs 3,309.34 crore and investments from Rs 1,878.62 crore to Rs 2,158.48 crore.

As per plan visualised in 1999, the bank would succeed in doubling its business by the end of this fiscal, Mr Sethumadhavan said. The bank would concentrate on increasing retail advances and raise the level of low cost deposits. The bank with 376 branches and 52 extension counters planned to open eight more branches during this fiscal, he added.