Banks' asset quality improves in growing economy

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New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) Despite of risisng interest rates and robust credit growth, the asset quality of the public and private banks has improved remarkably on back of the strong economic growth and prudent provision policies during last fiscal.

''The net non-performing assets as a proportion of net advances for 27 scheduled commercial banks have reduced by average 14 per cent during fourth quarter of financial year 2006-07 as compared to the corresponding period last year,'' industry chamber Assocham said in its Eco Pulse Study on 'Financial performance of banking sector'.

The Federal bank, South Indian Bank, Union Bank of India are top NPA managers with 53 per cent, 47 per cent, 38 per cent decline in their net NPAs, the study said adding that Dena Bank and Central Bank have immensely improved their asset management as their ratio of net non performing assets to net advances have come down from the peak of 3.04 per cent and 2.59 per cent in fourth quarter of FY06 to 1.99 per cent and 1.7 per cent in same period of FY07.

''Improved industrial climate, economic buoyancy, better recovery climate, prudent policies followed by banks regarding provisions for NPAs have helped the banks in reducing their burden of bad loans and advances,'' the study added.

''As a result of better monitoring of the credit portfolios and healthy macro economic performance, majority of the banks have managed to reduce their loans repayment defaults despite high interest rates and strong growth in credit disbursement,'' Assocham President Venugopal Dhoot said.

ICICI Bank has recorded the maximum increase of 38 per cent in its net NPAs from the previous level of 0.71 per cent of net advances to 0.98 per cent in fourth quarter of FY07. Bank of India (28 per cent), Allahabad Bank (27 per cent) and IDBI (10 per cent) are among the other banks with rising non performing assets, the study noted.

''Gross non-performing assets for the fourth quarter stood at Rs 32,976 crore compared to Rs 34,323 crore previous year as reported by the 21 banks in their financial statements. Their net NPAs have reduced from Rs 13,437 crore to Rs 12,752 crore in past twelve months,'' it added.


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