A day after the Bank of Maharashtra MD & CEO Ravindra Marathe was arrested, the bank held its 15th AGM in Pune on Thursday, with bank’s executive director A C Rout presiding over the meeting. Shareholders approved plans to raise equity capital through FPO/QIP preferential share upto Rs 3,000 crore at the AGM. Only two of the eight BoM directors were present at the AGM. While two directors were in police custody, the government nominee director, RBI representative on the board and shareholder director did not attend the AGM held in the bank’s HQ in Pune.
Meanwhile, Marathe was admitted to Sassoon Hospital in Pune after he took ill and complained of chest pain while in police custody on Thursday morning. The charges filed by the police was about the Rs 100-crore loan sanctioned by BoM to DSK realty project. Of this, Rs 50 core was disbursed by BoM illegally, according to the police. Marathe was remanded to police custody for seven days. Around Rs 40 crore was disbursed by BoM’s former CMD Munhot, while `10 crore was disbursed by Marathe.
At the AGM, a few shareholders raised concern over the turn of events at the bank with the arrest of the top leadership, while some reposed faith in the bank’s board.
Rout downplayed the D S Kulkarni Developers loans and the subsequent arrest of the top leadership. Responding to concerns raised by a few shareholders, Rout said the bank’s present outstanding exposure to the group was at `94.52 crore which was fully secured.
“The bank has already declared DSK Developers and its promoters as willful defaulters. Recovery processes like SARFAESI action have already been initiated by the bank and some of the properties of the firm have been put under auction. BoM was part of a consortium that was lending to the project,” he said. Vivek Velankar, shareholder of BoM and an activist, said in the backdrop of what had happened at the bank the other directors should have been present at the AGM.
Velankar said shareholders were unhappy with the performance of the bank and for not paying dividend for the third year in a row. Shareholders were also a worried lot with the share price falling by more than 50% in the last couple of years. The BoM stock hit the 52-week low of Rs 12.54 on the BSE on June 22 and closed at Rs 13.31, down 1.16%.
Rout said various initiatives had been taken up by the bank for turnaround such as focus on NPA recovery, credit expansion with diversified risk, controlling slippages and improving operational efficiency, and these initiatives were on track. The bank achieved robust cash recovery from NPAs along with a three-fold increase in recovery in written off accounts, he said. Operating profit for the year ended March 31, 2018 increased by about 20% y-o-y, with improvement in efficiency parameters like net interest margin and cost to income ratio. The Bank has further improved its CASA ratio to an all-time high of 47.74% in total deposits that helped in reducing interest expenses, he said.