UCO Bank expects profitability boost

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Updated: December 18, 2018 6:19:41 PM

UCO Bank expects profitability boost

State-run Uco Bank is hoping that its profitability for the current fiscal will increase as its current account savings account (CASA) deposits is expected to get a major boost after India and Iran signed an agreement for oil import payments in rupees.

According to the pact signed last month, Indian oil companies will make rupee payments in a Uco Bank account, and 50% of those funds are earmarked for making the payments for the exports from India to Iran. “There will be a positive impact on our balance sheet due to Iran transaction, because my CASA will be increased. And the moment CASA will increase, I will be in a position to deploy those funds in productive purposes so that my NII will also be increased,” Uco Bank managing director and CEO Atul Kumar Goel told FE.

“Some part of the money (rupee payment) may come in our account in December itself. It will increase the bank’s profitability as my NII will be increased this fiscal,” Goel said in an interview.

The Kolkata-based bank, which is under the prompt corrective action (PCA) of the RBI, saw its net interest income (NII) — the difference between interest earned and expended — rise over 47% year-on-year to `964.57 crore during the second quarter this fiscal. The share of CASA deposits to total domestic deposits had stood at 37.25% at the end of the last financial year.

The lender reported `1,136.44 crore net loss for the second quarter of FY19 against a net loss of `622.56 crore for the same period of FY18 as provision to cover bad loans increased. During the FY18, the bank had posted a net loss of `4436 crore compared to `1,851 crore for FY17. Goel added the bank remained hopeful that it would make a turnaround in the next fiscal.
“I am hopeful and confident of bringing down net NPA ratio to 10% by March, 2019, and 8% by March, 2020. However, everything depends on the cases, which are under the NCLT now,” he said.

Notably, Uco Bank has referred as many as 124 accounts of stressed assets involving `17, 751 crore to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for resolution under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). “Out of that 84 accounts, involving `13, 443 crore, was admitted. Nineteen accounts involving `2,409 crore went for the liquidation,” the MD said. “I am hoping a recovery of around `1,500 crore by March 2019 from the NCLT referred accounts.”

During the September quarter, gross non-performing assets in absolute terms fell marginally on quarter-on-quarter basis to `29,581.49 crore from `29,786.41 crore.

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