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Punjab & Sind Bank on Thursday reported an over two-fold jump in net profit at Rs 346 crore for the quarter ended March 2022, helped by a decline in bad loans.

The state-owned lender had posted a net profit of Rs 160.79 crore in the same quarter of the preceding fiscal year.

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Total income during the quarter increased to Rs 2,007.90 crore as against Rs 1,940.62 crore in Q4 FY21, the bank said in a statement.

Gross bad loans or non performing assets (NPAs) of the bank came down to 12.17 per cent of gross advances as of March 31, 2022, from 13.76 per cent by end of March 2021.

In value terms, gross NPAs declined to Rs 8,565 crore by the end of FY22 as against Rs 9,334 crore a year ago.

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Net NPAs almost halved to 2.74 per cent (Rs 1,742.27 crore) from 4.04 per cent (Rs 2,461.95 crore) a year ago.

Bank’s provisions for bad loans fell down significantly to Rs 866 crore in the quarter from Rs 1,993 crore in the year-ago period.

Punjab & Sind Bank’s MD and CEO S Krishnan said the bank has been able to do a robust recovery and contain slippages during the year.

The bank has also increased its focus on retail credit and expects 8-10 per cent loan growth in the current financial year, he said.

On interest rates, he said the bank has raised the lending rate following the increase in repo rate by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by 40 basis points earlier this month.

Going forward, he said the rate hike would depend on further tightening of the monetary policy by RBI.

He expects net interest margin to further improve by 5-10 basis points from the current level of 2.8 per cent.

In 2021-22, the bank earned a profit of Rs 1,039.05 crore. It incurred a net loss of Rs 2,732.90 crore in the previous year.

The bank has recommended a dividend of 31 paise per equity share (or 3.1 per cent) of face value of Rs 10 each to the shareholders for 2021-22.

During the financial year, the Centre infused Rs 4,600 crore towards preferential allotment of equity shares.

Accordingly, the bank has allotted 272.51 crore shares of Rs 10 each fully paid up for cash at an issue price of Rs 16.88 per equity share (including premium of Rs 6.88 per equity share).

Government of India’s holding in the bank has increased to 98.25 per cent as on March 31, 2022. PTI DP DP AJ ANU ANU

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