Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Nov 02, 2006

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Money & Banking - Financial Performance
Corporate Results - Public Sector Banks
Central Bank net doubles in H1

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Mumbai , Nov. 1

Central Bank of India's net profit surged 99.07 per cent for the six-month period March-September 30 to Rs 215 crore (Rs 108 crore) on growth in advances and less NPAs.

The bank saw an increase of 39.65 per cent in gross advances to Rs 43,245 crore (Rs 30,966 crore) and a rise of 16.38 per cent in total deposits to Rs 76,221 crore (Rs 65,493 crore).

Retail advances grew 31.22 per cent to touch Rs 4,716 crore (Rs 3,594 crore).

"Retail credit is one of our key thrust areas. As of now, retail loans form just 12 per cent of total assets and we have fixed a target of 17 per cent by the end of this year," said Ms H.A. Daruwalla, Chairman and Managing Director, Central Bank of India.

The ratio of net non-performing assets (NPAs) total assets improved to 2.11 per cent (2.79 per cent).

"We have made additional provisions of Rs 65 crore for NPAs. The coverage ratio is now 66 per cent. We want to focus on improving credit quality and have set up a separate department," Ms Daruwalla said.

Capital adequacy ratio decreased to 11.52 per cent (12.13 per cent).

The bank is waiting for approvals from the Central Government and the RBI for its public issue, which will push the ratio to over 12 per cent, she added.

The bank may hike its deposit rates in the next two to three months, but has not decided on lending rates, she said.

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