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State Bank of Saurashtra to open 40 new branches

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, May 11: Enthused by all round growth during the last financial year, Bhavnagar-based State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS) has decided to open 40 new branches and 80 new ATMs before the first quarter of the current financial year.

Sharing the Bank's expansion plans with UNI, its managing director S K Singh said the thrust would be on unrepresented areas outside Saurashtra region.

While seven new branches are to be opened in Greater Ahmedabad alone, five each will be in Vadodara and Surat. It has nearly 60 branches in rest of India, he said.

Although SBS is the smallest subsidiary bank of the SBI Group, he said it has many firsts to its credit -- it being the first Public Sector Bank (PSB) with all its branches made RTGS-enabled.

It achieved the technology landmark of covering all its branches under Core Banking by October 2005, two months ahead of the target.

With export finance at 12.14 per cent of the net bank credit, he said that very few PSBs could meet the 12 per cent benchmark in 2005-06.

As against 15 per cent average growth rate in banking sector's advances to SSIs, he said, SBS achieved 37 per cent growth on this count during 2006-07 over the previous year.

The Bank captured a major chunk in diamond polishing industry too, accounting for Rs 800-crore advances last fiscal. It already has about Rs 760-crore exposure in ship-breaking industry around Alang and Sosiyo Yards. As a strategy, the Bank does not advance more that 10 per cent of its total advances in one sector, he said.

Talking about the Bank's last year's performance and targets for the current year, Mr Singh said the Bank expects 30 per cent growth in advances and 20 per cent in deposits in 2006-07.

SBS posted a 46 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 60.12-crore last financial year, as against Rs 41-crore the previous year.

The Bank's total business over the same period increased by 17.22 per cent to Rs 22,214-cr from Rs 18,950-cr and advances by 25 per cent to Rs 8,518-cr from Rs 6,806-cr.

Its capital adequacy ratio rose by 12.03 per cent last fiscal from 11.45 per cent previous year, as against RBI prescribed benchmark of nine per cent.

Talking about other parameters which determine the good banking practices, he said, Gross Non-Performing Asset (NPA) of SBS has come down to 1.97 per cent in March 2006 from 2.70 per cent in March 2005.

He claimed that net NPA of SBS which came down to 1.16 per cent last March from 1.40 per cent in previous year is one of the lowest among all banks, private and public sector combined.


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