Our Bureau

Mumbai, Jan.10

AIDED by a 32 per cent rise in net-interest income and a significant growth in its fee-based income, private sector Centurion Bank Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 7.10 crore for the third quarter ended December 31,2004, as against a net loss of Rs 6.54 crore in the corresponding year-ago period.

"The whole of last year we had been cleaning up the balance sheet and recapitalising the bank. Eighty per cent of our loan book is on the retail side and our net-interest spread, at 4.76 per cent, is one of the highest in the industry. This has certainly added to our momentum along with our increased focus on fee-based activities," said Mr Shailendra Bhandari, Managing Director, Centurion Bank.

During the third quarter, total income of the bank grew to Rs 103.66 crore (Rs 99.17 crore). This comprised interest earned at Rs 86.96 crore (Rs 83.67 crore) and other operating income at Rs 16.70 crore (Rs 15.50 crore).

Total expenditure was at Rs 98.27 crore (Rs 94.61 crore). This is inclusive of interest expended at Rs 41.12 crore (Rs 48.88 crore) and operating expenses at Rs 57.15 crore (Rs 45.73 crore).

The capital adequacy ratio of the bank improved to 10.17 per cent (3.52 per cent). Net non-performing assets of the bank came down to 3.36 per cent (6.47 per cent). Retail assets of the bank (pre-securitisation) increased by 54 per cent to Rs 1,876 crore from Rs 1,220 crore in the year-ago period.

For the nine-months ended December 31, 2004, the bank recorded a net-profit of Rs 15.51 crore against a loss of Rs 7.42 crore for the nine months ended December 31, 2003.The board of the bank has approved a proposal to raise additional equity capital of about Rs 300 crore. The bank has also called for an EGM on February 7, to seek shareholders' approval to raise up to Rs 600 crore, in one or more tranches.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 11, 2005)
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