Demonetisation hits Punjab National Bank, loans worth Rs 10,000 cr turn ‘special’

By: | Published: February 9, 2017 6:17 AM

The total value of SMA2 accounts at the New Delhi-headquartered lender at the end of December was R19,000 crore.

Among the accounts in the SMA2 category is that of Air India, to which PNB has an exposure of around R1,000 crore, one executive confirmed.Among the accounts in the SMA2 category is that of Air India, to which PNB has an exposure of around R1,000 crore, one executive confirmed.

Loans worth between R8,000 crore and R10,000 crore that were being serviced regularly have turned into special mention accounts 2 (SMA2) — loans on which repayments are overdue for between 61 and 90 days — at Punjab National Bank (PNB) as a result of demonetisation, senior bank executives said.

The total value of SMA2 accounts at the New Delhi-headquartered lender at the end of December was R19,000 crore. Among the accounts in the SMA2 category is that of Air India, to which PNB has an exposure of around R1,000 crore, one executive confirmed.

Slippages, or fresh bad loans, at the country’s fifth largest lender during the October-December quarter stood at R4,800 crore, with about R1,500 crore being accounted for by large corporate accounts.

Meanwhile, addressing analysts and investors on Wednesday, PNB’s managing director and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian refused to offer a forecast for slippages in the March quarter. “I would only say the endeavour is to be below the recovery numbers,” she said.

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The bank had earlier guided for R15,000 crore in recoveries for the first three quarters of FY17 and R20,000 crore for the full year. Ananthasubramanian said the bank had recovered R3,974 crore, devoting about 40 days during the third quarter to recoveries, as staff was deployed to deal with currency exchange functions for the remaining period.

On Tuesday she had said that in January, the bank has recovered about R1,300-1,375 crore and is on track to meet its guidance.

Asset quality at PNB deteriorated in the December quarter with its gross non-performing assets as a percentage of total advances at 13.7%, up 7 basis points sequentially. Its net NPAs stood at 9.09%, down 1 basis point sequentially.

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