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SBT will continue to lead and syndicate finance for major Kerala projects: MD

Vinson Kurian
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P. Nanda Kumaran
P. Nanda Kumaran

State Bank of Travancore (SBT) hopes to become the bank which will lead and syndicate, and make certain funds for major infrastructure projects in Kerala, says P. Nanda Kumaran, Managing Director.

“May be our visibility has not been good. But that’s partly because of customer confidentiality clause applicable from case to case,” he told Business Line here.

BIG PROJECTS

“So at times we won’t able to announce probably what we are doing at a given time,” he said while referring to the bank’s willingness to stay invested in the State.

“But let me tell you, with every project is happening in Kerala, we’ve been there as one of the major contributors,” he added.

Vizhinjam international seaport and transhipment terminal project is one. The bank has also a commitment to the Kannur airport and the Kochi Metro. In fact, it was the first bank to commit money for the latter.

SmartCity Kochi is another. The bank is also involved in the expansion of the Cochin International Airport.

RISK APPETITE

“We’ll get involved in any good project that is coming up in this manner,” Nanda Kumaran said.

As a banker, he would look to meeting best opportunities where the risk allows him to derive maximum benefit.

While doing so, the bank would like to get decoupled from the bad effects of a connected globe but would as well like to gain from the good.

“When we say we’re growing as among the top 10 economies of the world, it’s about how you would globalise more and how you’re going to derive more and more synergy, benefits, capabilities and growth and wealth from that,” he said.

SIGNAL ROLE

Explaining the signal role that banks play in the economy, he said banks are the single most effective tool of transmission of economic policies and decisions.

“We’re the transmission point, we’re the disintermediation point, we’re the intermediation point and we’re also the funding and recovery point.

So whatever be the economic decisions and policy-making, they are felt more acutely in banking than anywhere else.”

Banks need to globalise to derive comparative advantage as well as competitive advantage. They must imbibe best practices in manufacturing, services, management, corporate governance, accounts etc.

CAPITAL ADEQUACY

“As a country, we’re moving faster towards Basel 3 prescriptions on regulation, supervision and risk management. There’s already a lot of preparedness happening in the banking system.”

It’s a positive sign that India is becoming a more mature place to do business than we would have given credit to ourselves.

“I look at it with a sense of maturity with what’s happening on this front. It helps us to plan better; it also gives us confidence and self-belief, which is very important,” Nanda Kumaran said.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 8, 2013)
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