PNB remains upbeat despite incremental slippages of Rs 12,000 crore projected for FY20

New Delhi | Published: May 30, 2019 2:39:36 AM

The bank’s total fresh slippages stood at Rs 16,616 crore in FY19 against Rs 40,672 crore in FY18. As for Q4FY19, the bank’s slippages stood at Rs 5,130 crore.

pnb, punjab national bank, banking sector, banking industryPNB on Tuesday posted a net loss of Rs 4,750 crore in March quarter, reduced from Rs 13,417 crore net loss in the same quarter last year.

By Mitali Salian & Vinayak Aggarwal

Punjab National Bank has tagged the current financial year as one of ‘growth and profitability’, though the bank continues to remain troubled on the asset quality front with a projection of Rs 12,000 crore as incremental slippages for FY20.

The bank’s total fresh slippages stood at Rs 16,616 crore in FY19 against Rs 40,672 crore in FY18. As for Q4FY19, the bank’s slippages stood at Rs 5,130 crore. One large account that slipped during the last quarter was the bank’s Rs 1,600 crore exposure to IL&FS. The bank’s total exposure to IL&FS and its subsidiaries stands at Rs 1,800 crore.

Meanwhile, the bank’s exposure to the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group was less than Rs 1,000 crore while in case of Jet Airways, the bank’s exposure stood at a little less than Rs 1,000 crore, of which up to `400 crore was secured against pledged promoter shares. According to bankers, Jet Airways promoters have pledged up to 26% of their total 51% ownership.

PNB on Tuesday posted a net loss of Rs 4,750 crore in March quarter, reduced from Rs 13,417 crore net loss in the same quarter last year. The reduction in net loss was primarily on account of lower provisions and narrowed operating expenses. One factor aiding lower operational expenditure was significant drop in employee cost owing to a hire freeze last year.

During the year, the bank also closed four representative offices abroad, and merged one branch in Hong Kong.

In FY20, however, the bank plans to hire 2,000 employees, including 600 clerical staff.

Asset quality improved as the gross non-performing assets (NPA) improved to 15.50% from 16.33% in previous quarter and 18.38% in the Q4FY18. Net NPA also enhanced to 6.56%, 166 bps lower than 8.22% in Q3FY19.

Meanwhile, the bank remains quite optimistic on the recovery front, projecting a recovery of Rs 25,000 crore for the current financial year, including at least `5,000 crore from recovery of Essar Steel and Bhushan Power and Steel that was expected in FY19. The bank expects another Rs 4,000 crore on recovery of other accounts referred under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Emphasising the bank’s efforts to improve their monitoring of asset quality and recovery efforts, managing director Sunil Mehta said: “We have created a stressed asset management vertical, a group of four general managers to look after stressed assets, out of which one general manager looks after resolutions, IBC cases and restructuring cases; the three others are responsible for asset monitoring and two other looks after recoveries.”

Refusing to comment on whether the bank woul receive or have request any further capital infusion from the government, Mehta said the bank’s total capital requirement for FY20 is `10,000 crore.

Of this, the bank expects to get Rs 1,000 crore through the sale of its non-core assets, `4,000 crore from write-backs.

The bank could tap the markets for another Rs 5,000 crore.

PNB expects double digit credit growth, primarily expected to come from infrastructure funding and 10-12% deposit growth for FY20.

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