PNB Net Profit Zooms 327% to 1,756 Crore, Highest in 14 Quarters

New Delhi: Public sector lenderPunjab National Bank (PNB)today reported a 327 per cent
jump in net profit to Rs. 1,756.13crore in the September quarter -the highest in the previous 14
quarters – on the back of higherinterest income and improvedcredit quality. The bank’s net
interest income grew about 20 percent to Rs. 9,923 crore during thesecond quarter of current fiscal,while operating profit grew 12 percent to Rs. 6,216 crore. PunjabNational Bank MD & CEO AtulKumar Goel said credit cost willreduce in the coming quarters andprofitability of the bank will
increase. The net interest income,net profit, and operating profit arehighest in the past 14 quarters, hesaid.”RAM (Retail, agri and MSMEsectors) will be the focus areas ofPNB. In the first half of currentfiscal (Apri-September), weachieved a profitabiity of over Rs.3,000 crore. “I am hopeful that
we will be able to maintain thesame profitability in the third andfourth quarters,” Goel told
reporters here. The bank will open100-150 new branches in thecurrent fiscal, he added. Goel
further said there is no stress onthe bank’s retail loan portfolio.The portfolio, which includes
vehicle, education and personalloans, stands at Rs. 2.18 lakh crore.Of this, Rs. 25,770 crore is
unsecured loan, including Rs.17,467 crore of personal loan. Ofthe Rs. 17,467-crore unsecured
personal loan, Rs. 4,056 crore isthrough digital mode. “From ourside, there is no worry on
unsecured personal loans… We aremonitoring our loan portfolioevery fortnight and if we see any
sign of sickness or delinquency inpersonal loan, we do a root causeanalysis,” Goel said. RBI GovernoShaktikanta Das had earlier thismonth flagged strong growth inpersonal loans and said theRBI isclosely monitoring the same forany signs of incipient stress. Therewere reports that the bankingregulator is concerned about thehigh growth in unsecured loans likecredit cards, personal loans andmicrofinance, which has led tospeculation on whether it willfollow up with regulations to
discourage such growths. Goel saidthe provisioning requirement ofthe bank will reduce in times to
come. The bank’s provisioningdeclined to Rs. 3,444 crore duringthe quarter under review, from Rs.
4,906 crore in the year-ago period.Gross NPAs as percentage oftotal loans declined to 6.96 per
cent at the end of September, from10.48 per cent last year. The bankaims to bring down gross NPA to 6per cent by March 2024, Goel said.Net NPA is targeted to be broughtdown to below 1 per cent by thefiscal-end, from 1.47 per cent atpresent. Goel further said thefiscal-end target of 12-13 per centcredit growth will be achieved.PNB had a 13.8 per cent creditgrowth in the first half of the
fiscal. He said the bank has theboard’s approval for raising Rs.12,000 crore of capital.
“Of this, we have already raisedRs. 6,090 crore. We do not haveany immediate requirement of
capital raising,” Goel added. Sharesof PNB closed at Rs. 69.81 onThursday, up 0.52 per cent over
the previous close on the BSE.

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