Aided by improved asset quality and lower credit cost, Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second-largest public sector bank, on Thursday reported a 171.4 per cent increase in consolidated net profit for 2023-24 at ₹8,329 crore (₹3,069 crore).

For the quarter ended March 31, 2024, PNB’s consolidated net profit grew 78.11 per cent at ₹3,101 crore (₹1,741 crore). 

This is the first time ever that the bank’s net profit has crossed ₹3,000-crore mark in a quarter and the latest quarterly bottom line performance is the highest in the last sixteen quarters, Atul Kumar Goel, Managing Director and CEO, said .

The Board of Directors have declared a dividend of ₹1.5 per share of ₹2 each as final dividend for 2023-24.

Goel said that bank’s Board has given its nod to undertake capital raising of ₹17,500 crore in 2024-25 including a qualified institutional placement of ₹7,500 crore. This also includes AT-1 capital of ₹7,000 crore and Tier-II bonds of ₹3,000 crore.

“We expect to complete the QIP by end September. The bankers have already been appointed,” Goel said. 

Asked about the recent RBI draft proposal on project finance, Goel said that PNB will submit its views to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on this issue. 

“RBI proposal is draft guidelines. In my opinion, there is no need to become panic. We will seek clarification,” Goel said. One of the clarification that PNB would seek is whether a threshold loan limit could be introduced beyond which only the proposed norms would be put into effect, Goel added.

For the current fiscal, PNB is eyeing deposit growth of 9-10 per cent and credit growth of 11-12 per cent.

On asset quality, Goel highlighted that PNB had in 2023-24 drastically brought down the gross NPA ratio as a percentage of advances to 5.73 per cent (from 6.82 per cent) and net NPA ratio to 0.7 per cent (from 2.72 per cent). For current fiscal, PNB is aiming to bring net NPA ratio to less than 0.5 per cent and gross NPA to less than 5 per cent, he added.

On a consolidated basis, total income of the bank in 2023-24 stood at ₹1,22,394 crore (₹99,084 crore). For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2024, total income stood at ₹32,977 crore (₹28,132 crore).

In 2023-24, the total recovery from NCLT for the bank stood at ₹3,224 crore, Goel said.