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Business News
SBI Q4 loss at Rs 7,718 crore as NPA provisions jump
 
(Mumbai, May 22, 2018):State Bank of IndiaNSE 3.87 %, the country’s biggest lender, reported its second straight quarterly loss in the March quarter as provisions for bad loans surged on rising defaults, and an erosion in the profitability from its securities trading business.

But the bellwether of the Indian economy projected a rosy picture ahead amid signs of resolution of bad loans under the newly created Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code that could lead to some write back of provisions too.

Its loss was much higher than expected at Rs 7,718 crore. A Bloomberg poll of 14 analysts’ expectations forecast a loss of Rs 1,728 crore. Fresh slippages at the bank rose to Rs 33,670 crore from Rs 25,836 crore in December quarter.

"The industry has gone through a challenging phase and State Bank of India is no exception. But, I can confidently say that while last year was the year of disappointment, this will be the year of hope and next year will be the year of happiness,” Chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters at a conference in Mumbai, reversing decades of tradition at the British era bank which till last year held its annual earnings meeting at the Imperial capital of Kolkata.

For the full year the bank has to incur loss provision of Rs 70680 crore and it also provided in full for the mark-to-market losses of over Rs 6000 crore. Due to amendment in the Gratuity Act in the last week of March the bank had to take a provision hit of Rs 900 crore.

Its shares rose nearly 4 percent amid expectations that the worst was over.

“While the quarter gone by was a tough one, I expect FY19 to be much better,” said Siddharth Purohit, research analyst with SMC Institutional Equities. “The management remains confident about lower credit cost for FY19 and FY20, so it seems finally there is better clarity about asset quality for FY19. The combined outstanding watch list of Rs 25,000 cr which also includes the SMA2 list is a huge comfort.”

Provisions and contingencies increased to Rs 28096 crore for the quarter from Rs 11740 crore in the same period last year. Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans stood at 10.91 percent at the end of March quarter, compared with 6.90 percent during the same period a year ago, and 10.35 percent in the previous quarter.

“Because the trend is yields is upwards we took a conscious decision not to amortise losses on MTM across

“When we speak today we speak from the strength of SBI, we have put the past behind us,” Kumar said. “Last three years have been very challenging but in any organisation’s history this kind of situations do come but what matters is that we are a much stronger organisation than what we were two years ago. We are poised for growth in a risk mitigated manner.”

Its net interest income, the difference between its cost of funds and what it earned from lending, fell 5.18 percent to 19,974 crores from Rs 21,065 crores a year earlier as the demand for loans from a debt crippled corporate sector was slow.

But its retail engine continued to hum with growth of 13.55 percent as it accelerated funding of homes, cars and raise credit card issuances. The bank is targeting a credit growth of 10 percent and a deposit growth of 9 percent for FY19. The bank will also require Rs 20000 crore as growth capital this fiscal which will be funded by a combination of tier-1 bonds and sale 0f non-core assets.

“Notwithstanding the high slippages during the quarter the outlook appears to be improving,” said Lalitabh Shrivastawa, AVP Research at Sharekhan. “The watch-list of approximately 1.3 % of total advances (Rs 25802 crore), now contains all corporate SMA2 and stressed SMA1. Going forward, we believe that the bulk of pain in terms of NPL recognition is behind for SBI.”


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