Allahabad Bank posts 9-pc rise in H1 net

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Our Bureau

Kolkata, Oct 17

ALLAHABAD Bank on Monday announced 9.27 per cent growth in net profit for the first half of the current fiscal at Rs 331.33 crore (Rs 303.22 crore).

Mr O.N. Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, told newspersons that the total business crossed Rs 68,933 crore on September 30, 2005.

"We are hoping to register better business growth in the second half. We have set a target of reaching the Rs 80,000-crore mark by the end of the current fiscal," he added.

Net advances rose to Rs 24,131.35 crore from Rs 18,335.54 crore in the corresponding previous period. Deposits increased to Rs 43,700.51 crore (Rs 36,002.21 crore). However, operating profit dropped to Rs 471.79 crore (Rs 615.13 crore).

Net NPAs to net advances dropped to 0.97 per cent from 1.64 per cent as on September 2004. Currently, gross NPAs are 5.03 per cent and Mr Singh said that the bank targeted to bring it to less than five per cent by March 31, 2006.

He also ruled out any fresh Tier II capital infusion. According to him, the capital adequacy ratio improved to 13.32 per cent (12.47 per cent)

Allahabad Bank has decided to open its first overseas office in Hong Kong. An application is currently pending with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

A licence is expected in November and the branch is likely to be inaugurated in December.

"We are planning another representative office at Shenzhen in China. Talks are at an advanced stage. This too is likely to be ready by the end of the year."

On Monday, at the BSE, the bank's scrip opened at Rs 89.10 and reached a high of Rs 91 before closing at Rs 86.90. More than 7.68 lakh shares were traded.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 18, 2005)
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