Monday, May 31, 2010

Central Bank of India plans to develop SME business in Coimbatore

Central Bank of India is looking at developing its Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) business here, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank S. Sridhar told presspersons here on Saturday.

“Coimbatore is an important centre for us,” he said. “We are rediscovering Coimbatore.” It had a large number of textile units and was an engineering hub, especially the small and medium scale units. The bank registered 53 per cent growth in the SME portfolio last year (2009-2010). So, it wanted to develop its SME business here.

The bank would shortly have a specialised branch for the mid-corporate sector with focus on medium-size units. The bank's exposure in these units would be Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 150 crore. Another branch would focus on the SMEs. The education loan portfolio of the bank was Rs. 1,350 crore. It grew by about 35 per cent last year. There were a number of untapped areas here in this sector too, he said.

The bank had 10 branches here. One new branch would be opened in Coimbatore and another in Namakkal this year. The bank's emphasis was on technology. It had introduced several technology-based products. On a pilot basis, it was trying out IT application in financial inclusion at Kota and Patna.

The capital adequacy ratio was 12.24 per cent. It was looking at increasing the tier I capital to eight per cent from 6.83 per cent as the bank was targeting 20 per cent growth this year.

Though the gross Non Performing Assets (NPAs) came down to 2.29 per cent in 2009-2010, bed debts had increased by Rs. 100 crore mainly because of small loans. The overall recovery performance of the bank was good. It recovered Rs. 620 crore last year and hoped to recover Rs. 750 crore this year.

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