Central Bank mulling to opt for FPO

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Mumbai, Apr 24 (UNI) The Central Bank of India, which posted a 14.8 per cent decline in net profit for the quarter ended on March 31, may bring a follow-up public issue (FPO) this year, the bank chairperson and managing director H A Daruwalla today said.

The bank's net profit for the quarter ended March 31 was Rs 127 crore, down by 14.8 per cent, from Rs 149.13 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Announcing the annual financial results of this public sector bank at a news conferece here, Ms Daruwalla, however, said this was one of the several available options to augment the bank's financial resources and the final decision would be taken only after the results of the first quarter emerges in June.

Pointing out that the bank had come out with its initial public offer (IPO) in August last year, she said the FPO, if required, may be in the offing only after a period of one year is over from the IPO, as per the norms of the capital market regulator, SEBI.

Refusing to indicate the size of the FPO or the quantum of the financial resources required by the bank, she said ''We will decide about it after making a final decision in June next and the FPO is not the only option available to us as we may opt for any other or combinations of several options before us.'' The Union Governmemt, as of now, holds 80 per cent shares in the bank.

Ms Daruwalla asserted that even as the net profit for the quarter ended March 31 was down by 14.8 per cent, the bank's net profit for the FY 2007-08 recorded a 10.47 per cent increase on year-on-year basis, as it was up from Rs 498.01 crore in the FY 2006-07 to Rs 550.16 crore.

The bank proposes to give 20 per cent dividend to its shareholders, she said, adding, the final decision on this shall be taken by the Annual General Meeting of the bank.

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