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Govt to inject Rs 23.5 bn into Central Bank of India


New Delhi :The government has decided to infuse Rs 23.5 billion into Central Bank of India to help it meet regulatory capital requirements.
With this, the government has so far injected around Rs 136 billion into public sector banks (PSBs) this financial year.
The capital infusion was needed as banks have to maintain the regulatory capital requirements at the time of paying interest towards Additional Tier 1 (AT-1) bonds, a senior government official said.
The notification for releasing the funds through recapitalisation bonds to Central Bank of India was issued by the government on Monday.
AT-1 bonds are perpetual in nature and therefore provide higher interest to investors. A high-level of bad loans and widening losses have made it difficult for banks to service these bonds from their own earnings.
As a result, PSBs were facing the risk of breaching the regulatory capital requirement, sources said.
The government may also look to recapitalise Bank of Baroda (BoB), Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank before the merger takes place, the official said, adding the government has fixed a timeline of six months. The government had announced the merger of these three PSBs to create the third largest bank in the country, on Monday.
“Recapitalisation may happen in these banks even before the merger takes place to meet their capital and growth requirements,” the official said, without specifying the quantum of funds required to be infused in these banks. During a presentation, Rajiv Kumar, the department of financial services secretary, had said that the capital support for the merger of the three PSBs will be ensured.
In July, the government had infused Rs 113 billion into five public sector banks, including Punjab National Bank, for similar requirements.
The Centre had infused Rs 28.2 billion into Punjab National Bank, Rs 25.5 billion into Corporation Bank, Rs 21.6 billion into Indian Overseas Bank, Rs 20.2 billion into Andhra Bank and Rs 18 billion into Allahabad Bank.
The infusion would be part of the remaining Rs 650 billion out of the Rs 2.11-trillion capital infusion over two financial years.
The government had announced a Rs 2.11-trillion capital infusion programme in October last year. According to the plan, PSBs were to get Rs 1.35 trillion through recapitalisation bonds, and the balance Rs 580 billion through fund raising from the market.
Out of the Rs 1.35 trillion, the government had infused around Rs 710 billion through recap bonds last financial year, and balance will be done during the current financial year