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J&K Bank half-yearly net profit grows 44% to 146 Cr

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Srinagar, Oct 16: J&K Bank, the state-owned premier financial institution and a listed entity, today reported a 44% increase in its net profit to Rs 146.34 Cr for the half year ended 30th September 2018 after the reviewed results of the Bank were adopted by the Board of Directors in the meeting held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters. The Bank had posted a net profit of Rs 101 Cr during the first half of previous fiscal.

Notably, the Bank has now reported six consecutive quarters of profitability after recovery from a loss of Rs 1632 Cr in the financial year ended March 2017. The gross business turnover of the bank has also seen a record increase surpassing the 1, 50,000 Cr mark with J&K state business contributing more than 1, 05,000 Cr on the back of robust credit growth of 23% year on year.

An official spokesperson of the bank shared that as per the Bank’s earlier guidance the share of credit from J&K state has improved to 53% of the total advances of the Bank as compared to 52% in the previous quarter.

 

“Our focus on the expansion of credit in retail & SME sectors especially within J&K state which is having a reasonably high absorption capacity has strengthened our core J&K state business besides enabling us to deliver profitable growth in an otherwise challenging environment for the banking industry. In rest-of-India business, our incremental credit growth is coming from lending to low-risk top rated Corporates. Of late, retail portfolio in rest of India too has started seeing some traction especially in housing & SME sectors”, said Parvez Ahmed Chairman & CEO JK Bank post declaration of results.

“We are expanding aggressively in the unbanked areas of the J&K state not only by opening traditional Business Units but also with innovative delivery channels like Ultra Small Branches to facilitate banking access at the doorsteps across the geography of the state. Simultaneously we are also planning to optimize our presence in rest of India by expanding in territories where we have a strong franchise”, added the Chairman.

“Our next phase of growth will be driven by credit penetration in hitherto underbanked and underleveraged areas of the state. A major chunk of it will come from greenfield projects as we are focusing on democratizing the entrepreneurship to the nooks and corners of the state by opening start-up facilitation centers in all the 22 districts. There is a lot of policy support for start-ups at the state and central government level and we are seeing our role as an enabler for the bright youths of our state” asserted Parvez Ahmed.

“We are seeing a lot of demand coming from the government spending on infrastructure within the J&K state. We will be major benefactors as a lot of ancillary demand will get created resulting in expansion of credit. Besides, the majority of our customers in the contractor segment will have improved cash flows which will shave off stress in their balance sheets”, shared the Chairman.

Discussing the problem of NPAs Parvez Ahmed said, “Overall NPAs are under control though provisioning pressure still remains due to the aging of NPAs that is going to taper in next 2 to 3 quarters. We are maintaining our Provision Coverage Ratio of around 70%. The net NPA is down to 3.91% as compared to 4.76% a year ago. The silver lining is that our J&K state rehabilitated portfolio has been behaving very well with only 0.8% slippages in the 09 months period post cessation of the moratorium period. This has allayed market apprehensions on the J&K state restructured portfolio of Rs 4300 Cr.”

The bank’s total income for the half year period increased to Rs 3603 Cr from Rs 3346 Cr recorded during the corresponding period of the FY 2017-18.

Net Interest Margin (NIM), a benchmark for the profitability of the bank remained healthy and stable at 3.72%. The cost of deposits has reduced to 4.87% as against 5.24% recorded for the corresponding half year of previous fiscal. The net advances of the bank grew to Rs 63691 Cr as against a figure of Rs 51341 Cr a year ago and Rs 56912 Cr in March 2018. On the deposit front, the bank recorded a growth of 15.7% over the last year with low-cost CASA deposits contributing around 50% of the total deposits .


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Indian billionaires’ wealth rose by Rs 2,200 crore a day in 2018: report

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New Delhi: Indian billionaires saw their fortunes swell by Rs 2,200 crore a day last year, with the top 1 per cent of the country’s richest getting richer by 39 per cent as against just 3 per cent increase in wealth for the bottom-half of the population, an Oxfam study said .Globally, billionaires’ fortunes rose by 12 per cent or USD 2.5 billion a day in 2018, whereas the poorest half of the world’s population saw their wealth decline by 11 per cent, the international rights group said in its annual study released before the start of the five-day World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in this Swiss ski resort town.

Oxfam further said that 13.6 crore Indians, who make up the poorest 10 per cent of the country, continued to remain in debt since 2004.

Asking the political and business leaders who have gathered in Davos for the annual gathering of the rich and powerful of the world to take urgent steps to tackle the growing rich-poor divide, Oxfam said this increasing inequality is undermining the fight against poverty, damaging economies and fuelling public anger across the globe.

 

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, one of the key participants at the WEF summit, said it is “morally outrageous” that a few wealthy individuals are amassing a growing share of India’s wealth, while the poor are struggling to eat their next meal or pay for their child’s medicines.

“If this obscene inequality between the top 1 per cent and the rest of India continues then it will lead to a complete collapse of the social and democratic structure of this country,” she added.

Noting that wealth is becoming even more concentrated, Oxfam said 26 people now own the same as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, down from 44 people last year.

The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to USD 112 billion and just 1 per cent of his fortune is equivalent to the whole health budget for Ethiopia, a country of 115 million people.

“India’s top 10 per cent of the population holds 77.4 per cent of the total national wealth. The contrast is even sharper for the top 1 per cent that holds 51.53 per cent of the national wealth. The bottom 60 per cent, the majority of the population, own merely 4.8 per cent of the national wealth. Wealth of top 9 billionaires is equivalent to the wealth of the bottom 50 per cent of the population,” Oxfam said while noting that high level of wealth disparity subverts democracy.

Between 2018 and 2022, India is estimated to produce 70 new dollar millionaires every day, Oxfam said.

“It (the survey) reveals how governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, on the one hand, while under taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax dodging on the other,” Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said.
The survey also shows that women and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality, he added.

“The size of one’s bank account should not dictate how many years your children spend in school, or how long you live — yet this is the reality in too many countries across the globe. While corporations and the super-rich enjoy low tax bills, millions of girls are denied a decent education and women are dying for lack of maternity care,” Byanyima said.

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Fugitive Choksi surrenders Indian passport in Antigua to ‘avoid extradition’

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Chandigarh:Fugitive tycoon Mehul Choksi has given up his Indian citizenship and surrendered his passport to Antigua, as per media reports.

This move by Choksi’s is being seen as an attempt to avoid his extradition to India. Antigua and India do not have an extradition treaty.

India had earlier handed over a request to Antigua for extradition of Mehul Choksi who is charged in connection with India’s biggest banking fraud, and now living in the Caribbean nation after taking its citizenship.

 

Official sources said a team comprising officials from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and other agencies was sent to Antigua a couple of days ago to request the Antiguan authorities to extradite Choksi, wanted in India in the US$ 2 billion Punjab National bank scam.

As per reports, Antiguan authorities cleared Choksi’s citizenship in November 2017 after India did not give any adverse report to stall his application for it.

Choksi had fled India on January 4 this year and took oath of allegiance in Antigua on January 15. His citizenship was cleared in November 2017.

Choksi’s application for citizenship in Antigua in May 2017 was accompanied with clearance from the local police as required by norms, Antiguan newspaper the Daily Observer reported, citing a statement from the Citizenship by Investment Unit of Antigua and Barbuda (CIU).

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FPI outflow crosses Rs 4,000 crore in Jan so far

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New Delhi: Foreign investors have pulled out more than Rs 4,000 crore from the Indian capital markets so far in January, highlighting their cautious stance towards the country.

This comes following a collective net inflow of over Rs 17,000 crore in the capital markets both equity and debt by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) during November and December.

Prior to that, they had pulled out a massive Rs 38,905 crore in October.

 

According to data available with the depositories, FPIs withdrew a net amount of Rs 3,987 crore from equities and a net sum of Rs 53 crore from the debt market, taking the total outflow to Rs 4,040 crore during January 1-18.

Market experts believe that FPIs are continuing with their ‘wait and watch’ approach towards India.

Going ahead, the focus would be on the budget, progress on the economic growth front and general elections, they added.

Other factors such as movement in crude prices and currency as well as US-China trade relations will also play a role in FPI flows, they added.

Harsh Jain, COO at Groww, an online MF investment platform, said 2019 is likely to see a lot of volatility because of the rate hikes and dollar instability, but the Indian markets may be able to weather the storm.

“India offers better investment opportunities due to consistent growth, supportive global factors and attract valuations. We should expect positive inflow in coming months,” he added.

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