Special Correspondent

The bank makes a loan loss provision of Rs. 2,187 crore in the fourth quarter

KOLKATA: The corporate sector seems to have contributed largely to the Rs. 674-crore growth in the net non-performing assets (NPAs) of the country's largest lender State Bank of India during the fourth quarter of 2009-10. In this a period, the NPA of the agriculture sector has shown improvement along with that of retail portfolio.

Of the Rs. 674-crore increase in SBI's NPAs between January and March 2010, which contributed in a large measure to a sizable drop in the fourth quarter profit, the big and medium corporates' NPAs grew by as much as Rs. 1,062 crore, while that of small manufacturing enterprises by Rs. 107 crore. This was neutralised to some extent by the Rs. 74-crore drop in the NPA portfolio of the agro-sector and a Rs. 332-crore improvement in the NPA of the retail sector. The internal loan portfolio also turned in a good show.

Out of the standard restructured assets of Rs. 16,796 crore, restructured under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) dispensation, Rs. 1,616 crore has slipped into the NPA category up to March 2010, taking the slippage ratio for these to 9.62 per cent. The bank said that these were fresh slippages of the order of Rs. 11,843 crore.

SBI Chairman O. P. Bhatt said at a press conference on Friday that the growth in NPAs has been contained as a result of which additions to gross NPAs have come down. He said that while NPA increased by Rs. 2,000 crore in the second quarter of 2009-10, the increase was Rs. 1,400 crore in the following quarter with the figure dropping to Rs. 674 crore in the fourth quarter. He said that although incremental NPA were going down, some existing NPA were aging and provisioning had to increase.

The bank made a loan loss provision of Rs. 2,187 crore in the quarter under review against Rs. 1,296 crore in the same quarter of 2008-09. For the year, the figure was Rs. 5,148 crore against Rs. 2,475 crore indicating a growth of 108 per cent and 68 per cent quarter-on-quarter.