OTHERS

Janakiraman to head Centurion Bank

CHENNAI, NOV. 1. The former Managing Director of State Bank of India, Mr. V. Janakiraman, has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Centurion Bank.

When contacted here, Mr. Janakiraman told this correspondent that he was awaiting the Government of India's approval to take up the new assignment.

He said he had ``deliberated on the offer made by Centurion Bank and given his consent to take up the job". While stating that he was ``looking forward" to take up the new challenge, he, however, declined to dwell any further on how he wished to take the bank forward. ``I will have to go there and find out what my agenda is," he said.

Mr. Janakiraman's appointment has also been welcomed by the Washington-based International Finance Corporation (IFC). A release from the organisation said, ``IFC will fully support Mr. Janakiraman in his new capacity and looks forward to working with him on the challenges facing Centurion Bank". The release added that IFC ``is also assisting Centurion Bank in its efforts to find a strategic partner and in its recapitalisation plans". The release said, ``neither Centurion Bank nor GTB is in default on loans from IFC".

Knowledgeable sources said the Reserve Bank of India was keen that a person of Mr. Janakiraman's stature headed the new generation private bank which was through a trying time. It may be recalled that when the Global Trust Bank (GTB) had come under adverse public glare following the version two of the stock scam, its proposed merger with UTI Bank was called off and the former Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank, Mr. R. S. Hugar, made the chairman of the troubled bank under RBI fiat.

Mr. Janakiraman's appointment as the CMD comes even as the Centurion Bank has posted a Rs. 26.14 crore first-half loss after making a provisioning of Rs. 44 crores. Apart from the normal provisioning, a substantial provision of Rs.31 crores has been made for the bank's capital market exposure.

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