SBH targets 25% business growth in 2008-2009 : Guha

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 17 (UNI) The State Bank of Hyderabad(SDH), scheduled to be merged with the State Bank of India by this year end, has set a target of 25 per cent business growth during 2008-09.

SBH Managing Director Amitabha Guha told newspersons here that the bank was expecting a total business of Rs.91,000 crore by the end of March 2008 and would register a further growth of 25 per cent during 2008-09 when the total branches across the country would cross 1000.

To a question, Mr Guha clarified that the Board of Directors' meeting of the SBI, scheduled to be held on January 24,would not set any dateline for the merger but would chalk out various modalities on the issue.

The SBH Managing Director said once the Bank of Saurasthra merged with the SBI, the process of merger of the SBH would be made more easier.

He hoped that as per his personal assessment, the merger would take place by the end of 2008 as it required the clearance of the RBI and the ministry besides the issues of the promotion and service condition of the employees, which has been taken up by a committee.

On the profile of the SBH, Mr Guha said the financial assistance to the weaker sections reached the level of Rs 5600.36 crores during the financial year 2008 which constituted 16.81 per cent of the net bank credit.

He, however, admitted that the credit had shown a decline from 23 per cent last year to 18 per cent this fiscal, but said it had mostly affected the retail sector while the corporate sectors remained unaffected.

On the bank's expansion plan in Orissa, Mr Guha said three more branches would be opened in the state during the current financial year--one each at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Paradeep--and a survey had been conducted to open six more branches in the state in the near future.

UNI DP PL/SRC1607

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