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Monday, Mar 15, 2004

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APSFC to scout for fresh lines of credit

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , March 14

GEARING up for the falling interest regime and competition from banks, the Andhra Pradesh State Financial Corporation (APSFC) has decided to scout for separate lines of credit and identify new lines of businesses for extending support.

The corporation has approached the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for jointly financing larger projects. "We are also looking at the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI)," Mr M Gopalakrishna, Chairman of APSFC, said.

Addressing a news conference, he said the corporation was looking at lines of credit from big financial institutions such as HUDCO, Nabard, NHB and LIC to cover larger projects.

The corporation, which registered a net profit last year after nine years, was also bullish on the upcoming Rs 10,000-crore small and medium enterprises (SMEs) fund to be set up by SIDBI. The proposed fund was aimed at helping rural and micro industries. "The SIDBI has suggested that SFCs should have a substantial role in the disbursal of the funds," Mr Gopalakrishna said.

"We are confident that we will get a significant chunk of funds," he said.

Stating that the corporation was in the process of launching new initiatives and identifying potential new areas such as sponge iron, power generation, pharma and food processing for extending financial assistance.

"We have started financing projects in health and education sectors. We are also helping contractors taking up National Highway projects," he said.

"The entire focus is on customer orientation. There is a tangible change in the outlook of the staff. Our aim is to acquire the tag of friendly financier," he said.

Last year, the SFC had 27 per cent of non-performing assets. "This year, we are hopeful of reducing it by two to three percentage points," he said.

Mr Ratan P Wattal, Managing Director, said three years of reforms helped the corporation turn around and make profits. The corporation expected to continue its profit record this year, too.

He said APSFC stood first among the 18 SFCs in the country in sanctions, disbursements and recoveries.

With a view to encouraging good entrepreneurship, the corporation has selected 65 entrepreneurs for felicitation on March 16. These entrepreneurs would be conferred on `Parisramika Vijetha Awards' by Mr V.K. Chopra, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI.

More Stories on : Financial Institutions | Andhra Pradesh

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