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Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004

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Tsunami damages 3 SBI branches in Andamans

Our Bureau

Mr. A.K. Purwar

Mumbai , Dec. 28

THREE branches of State Bank of India in Andaman & Nicobar were damaged by the tsunami disaster.

The flooding caused by the calamity impaired the premises and computer systems, said Mr A.K. Purwar, Chairman, State Bank of India, speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the inauguration of the commercial branch of State Bank of Indore, in Mumbai on Tuesday.

SBI has over 30 branches in the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar. No casualties have been reported from the branches so far. A technology team has been dispatched from Kolkata to restore systems at branches hit by flooding due to Tsunami, he said.

Commenting on the special relief package for the victims of the Tsunami disaster, Mr Purwar, said, the bank could reschedule loans, grant fresh loans to needy and also formulate special assistance package.

State Bank of India will be donating Rs 10 crore to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund for rehabilitation efforts towards the Tsunami disaster.

Speaking on developments related to the bank, Mr Purwar said, SBI has posted about 25 per cent growth of credit demand till date.

Interest rates, he said, are expected to remain stable in the short run, given the recent easing in inflation.

On SBI's proposed infotech venture, Mr Purwar said, the bank has received approvals from the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India and would announce its plans shortly.

The bank has also sought approval from the Government and RBI for the proposed general insurance venture, he said.

Commercial banking branch

State Bank of Indore has opened a new commercial banking branch in Mumbai.

The bank had converted its industrial finance branch into a commercial branch on October 1, 2003, in order to focus the large and mid-corporates.

The volume of business of this branch since then increased to Rs 1,597.47 crore as on November 2004 (Rs 5 35.25 crore in October 2003).

On the technology front, the bank plans to bring 439 of its branches under core banking solutions, by September 2005.

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