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SBI to shut down 9 foreign branches as part of rationalisation

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New Delhi:State Bank of India is in the process of closing down nine more foreign branches after shuttering six such branches as part of rationalising overseas operations, a senior official said on Thursday.
The lender has operations in 36 countries with 190 branches, according to SBI website.
“As part of our foreign branch rationalisation, we have closed about six branches already in the last two years. There are nine more branches under the process to be closed down,” Managing Director (Retail & Digital Banking) at SBI Parveen Kumar Gupta said.
In an interview to PTI, he said capital is generally a constraint for most of the bank sites. “Obviously, you want to use your capital at the place where it is best utilised,” he noted.
Not all the branches in the foreign locations are full-fledged offices, he said, adding that in countries like Bangladesh and South Africa there are some small branches as well as some retail branches and there is need to rationalise them.
Even as the public sector banks (PSBs) have been mandated by the Department of Financial Services to wind-up businesses at unviable locations, SBI itself was looking to rationalise the foreign offices before the order came, Gupta said.
As per the banking sector agenda approved at the PSB Manthan in November last year, state-run lenders were asked to examine all of 216 overseas operations.
“Branch rationalisation is an ongoing process. I think every branch has to justify its existence. So unless it is commercially viable, it doesn’t make sense for us to be operating particularly in foreign locations,” he added.
When asked if closing down branches overseas also means having no operations in those locations, Gupta said SBI will not be exiting such countries. However, it will be closing down small branches or will be merging two-three branches into one.
Besides, given the evolving regulatory environment back home, Gupta said the need to open lot many foreign offices at this point of time is not viable.
“If you see globally, we are already present in the major centres. I don’t think there is any major global centre where we are not present. So the need to go to too many new countries at this point of time is not really felt.”
By March this year, state-owned banks had closed down 35 overseas branches and representative offices as part of the clean and responsible banking initiative, wherein Bank of India, Andhra Bank, IDBI Bank and Indian Overseas Bank closed down Dubai operations; Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India shut their Shanghai offices.
Bank of India also closed down operations in Yangoon and Bostwana, while Bank of Baroda and Indian Overseas Bank shut the Hong Kong branch. In addition, PSBs have also closed down various representative offices.
With relation to rationalisation of domestic branches post merger of its six associate banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself with effect from April 1, 2017, the SBI Managing Director said that as many as 1,800 branches have been rationalised in the last fiscal.
Besides, 250 offices were also closed down that led to huge cost savings.
“In terms of these 1,800 branches and 250 offices, we have seen about Rs 1,000 crore of savings only in the rental income and other expenses. Over the long run, our expectation is that this merger will definitely be beneficial for the bank,” Gupta said.
In terms of employees’ merger and posting them at right places, Gupta said it took a little bit of SBI’s time, but due to retirement of a lot of personnel as well as voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), there are currently 16,000 less employees than a year ago.
“We are also beginning to see all the savings which could not happen earlier due to duplication,” he added.
On being asked about bank’s plans to open more branches domestically, he said there are plans to open about 300-350 branches in the current fiscal, of which almost half are to be opened in rural areas.


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Sensex sheds 298.82 to close at 38,811; Nifty shrinks to 11,650

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Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex erased early gains to end 299 points lower Thursday as investors booked profits after stocks soared to record highs after BJP’s strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sensex and NSE Nifty went on to record highs even as Lok Sabha election results showed that PM Modi-led NDA leading on over 300 seats. However after the euphoria during the morning session, Sensex shed 298.82 to close at 38,811 and Nifty shrank to 11,650 on the closing bell.

During the day, the Sensex hit the 40,000 mark while the Nifty crossed the 12,000-level for the first time ever. However, the indices succumbed to profit booking towards the fag-end of the session.

 

The 30-share Sensex tumbled 298.82 points, or 0.76 per cent, to close at 38,811.39. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 80.85 points, or 0.69 per cent, lower at 11,657.05.

IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 5.23 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, Yes Bank, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech, L&T, Kotak Bank and Bharti Airtel, rising up to 1.56 per cent. On the other hand, Vedanta, ITC, Tata Motors, HDFC twins, Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, TCS, ONGC and Infosys fell up to 5.53 per cent.

Riding on a massive Modi wave sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP was set to return to power Thursday as it led in 298 seats while the Congress trailed far behind with 52, according to trends released by the Election Commission for all 542 seats that went to polls.

“Markets were initially enthused to see the election results falling in line with the exit polls. However, the run up to the D-day was so sharp that it turned out to be a sell on news phenomenon,” said Devang Mehta, Head – Equity Advisory, Centrum Wealth Management.

Participants would now be keen to know the future course of action for bringing the economy back on track, solution to the liquidity situation, the union budget, onset and progress of monsoon in June and most importantly the earnings trajectory, he added.

According to traders, weak cues from other global markets and a depreciating rupee also weighed on investor sentiment. The rupee depreciated 37 paise to 70.04 against the US dollar in afternoon trade. Globally, bourses in Asia ended in the red.

Indices in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading 1.79 per cent lower at USD 69.72 per barrel.

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Silver up on increased offtake; gold steady

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New Delhi: Silver prices rallied by Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg in the national capital on Thursday, while gold held steady, according to the All India Sarafa Association.

Traders said silver prices rose on pick-up in offtake by industrial units and coin makers at the local spot market. Globally, spot gold was trading marginally higher at USD 1,276 an ounce, while silver was slightly up at USD 14.53 an ounce in New York.

In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity dropped by Rs 10 each to Rs 32,670 per ten 10 gram and Rs 32,500 per 10 gram. Sovereign gold, however, held steady at Rs 26,500 per eight gram.

 

Silver ready surged Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg, while weekly-based delivery fell by Rs 66 to Rs 36,234 per kg. Silver coins held flat at Rs 79,000 for buying and Rs 80,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

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India PC mkt declines 8.3 per cent to 2.15 mn units in Jan-Mar qarter

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New Delhi: Personal Computer (PC) shipment in India fell by 8.3 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2019 to 2.15 million units, registering a year-on-year decline for the third consecutive quarter, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Besides, big commercial deals, market remained weak due to weak consumer demand, high inventory from previous quarters, and supply issues for Intel chips.

Shipments in the consumer segment saw a 26.5 per cent dip in the said quarter compared to the year-ago period. The commercial PC market saw a total shipment of 1.35 million units in the said quarter, a growth of 7.3 per cent over last year.

 

“The announcement of central elections on March 10, 2019 resulted in the model code of conduct coming into immediate effect further resulting in a delay in execution of government projects and impacting the commercial segment,” IDC said in a statement.

However, IDC expects the overall PC market in India to witness a growth in the second quarter. The commercial market is expected to pick up post new government formation in May, while the consumer market is expected to pick up largely driven by back to school campaign by vendors and online sales.

HP maintained its leadership position with an overall market share of 28.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, followed by Dell (25.9 per cent), Lenovo (25.2 per cent) and Acer (11.7 per cent).

The notebook PC (laptop) category accounted for 61.4 per cent of the shipment and witnessed a 9.8 per cent year-on-year decline.

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