Syndicate Bank’s board has cleared the proposal to raise Rs 1,500 crore equity capital from the market and Rs 2,000 crore via tier-II bonds, the bank’s Chairman and Managing Director M. G. Sanghvi told newspersons here.

“But we will raise it depending on the market condition. We are expecting the Government to infuse some capital. We understand that some announcement on this line will be made in the Budget. We will have to wait and see.

“Meanwhile, the bank’s board had cleared a proposal for raising equity capital from the market. We have applied to the RBI and the Government for approval. Once we get it, we may consider raising capital, albeit partially this year and the rest in the coming fiscal,” the CMD explained.

Cuts base rate

The bank also announced a cut of in its base rate by 25 basis points to 10.25 per cent with effect from February 13. The bank also revised downward its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by similar margin to 14.50 per cent.

Insurance biz

The bank is also looking to enter agency business in life insurance. “We have floated tenders and this is at an advanced stage of finalisation. We should in all probability start marketing insurance products in the next 3-4 months,” he said.

On hiring, he said: “We have already recruited 500 officers and 900 clerks. While the officers have already come on board, orders have been issued to 50 per cent of the clerks. We have also indicated our requirement for 1,500 officers and 1,400 clerks to the IBPS. The process has already started.”

Sanghvi was in the city to inaugurate the 88{+t}{+h} branch of the bank in Coimbatore region at Sathyamangalam this morning. He later launched the Smart card for students of Karunya University.

“This region would have a network of 100 branches by March 2013,” he said.

The 88-year-old bank has a network of 2,775 branches at present. Sanghvi said that another 225 branches would be added to this network soon.

Aggressive plans to expand its ATM network from the present 1,260 to 1,800 before the close of this fiscal is also being considered.

revathy.lakshminarasimhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 11, 2013)
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