Millennium Post

PNB half-yearly operating profit up 7.4% to Rs 5,374 cr

State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Friday reported an operating profit of Rs 2,533 crore for the second quarter of fiscal 2012-13, which is marginally higher compared to Rs 2,528 crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The overall operating profit of the bank during the first half of the current fiscal grew by 7.4 per cent to reach Rs 5,374 crore from Rs 5002 crore in April-September 2011-12.

The net profit for the half year ending September 2012 amounted to Rs 2,311 crore, which is marginally higher compared to Rs 2,310 crore in the previous year.

PNB reported a 11.6 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 1,065 crore on account of higher provisioning for bad loans in the September quarter.

The country's second largest PSU lender by assets had a net profit of Rs 1,205 crore in the July-September quarter of 2011-12 fiscal. 'The results are not as per our expectation,' Punjab National Bank Chairman K R Kamath told reporters here. The net non-performing Assets (NPAs) or bad loans as a percentage of total assets rose to 2.69 per cent in the July-September quarter from 0.84 per cent during the same period a year ago.'It is a reflection of what is happening in the economy. It is difficult to say whether the worst is over.

It all depends on how economy behaves in next three-six months," explained Kamath.

In absolute term, the net NPA of the Delhi-based bank jumped to Rs 7,883.43 crore in the July-September quarter, from Rs 2,088.51 crore in the year ago period.

During the quarter, the bank provisioning towards NPAs stood at Rs 1,140 crore, a 257 per cent jump over the Rs 319 crore provisioned in the September quarter of last fiscal.

'The higher provisioning is on account of higher NPA slippage. In some ways, it is a reflection of what is happening in the economy,' Kamath said.

Shares of Punjab National Bank slipped sharply on the earnings as NPAs rose. PNB's shares ended at Rs 748 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), down 7.01 per cent from previous close.

Many public sector undertaking (PSU) lenders have exposure to debt-laden firms like Kingfisher Airlines, Deccan Chronicle, the beleaguered state electricity boards and power and infrastructure projects.

'Wherever investments are not in a position to generate income, the government has to work to reduce bottlenecks, or else banks will have to take a hit in their books,' pointed out Kamath. [WITH PTI INPUTS]
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