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SBI aims 19-20 pc credit growth this fiscal

Mumbai: Country`s largest lender, the State Bank of India (SBI) is hopeful of posting a credit growth of 19-20 percent in the current financial year, a top bank official said. "The target (for credit growth) is 19-20 percent (this fiscal), which was 18-20 percent (last fiscal)," SBI chairman, Pratip Chaudhari said.

During last fiscal, the public sector lender has reduced its credit growth target to 16-19 percent from an estimated projections of 19-22 percent at the beginning of the year.

Lowering of growth targets was mainly due to lack of demand from corporates owing to economic slowdown in general. Meantime, the loans by banks increased by over 17 per cent to Rs 47.6 lakh crore as on March 23, against Rs 40.6 lakh crore reported in the same period last year.

Refering to concern regarding bad asset, Chaudhary said things are improving in the NPA (non-performing asset) front. "Initial response has been encouraging. The NPA situation seems under control. We seem to be winning the war against NPA," he said.

The gross non-performing asset (NPA) ratio stood at 4.61 percent during third quarter (Q3) as against 4.19 percent in the previous quarter (Q2). Similarly, the net NPA ratio grew to 2.22 percent during Q3 against 2.04 percent reported in the previous quarter.

Net profit of the bank increased over 15 percent to Rs 3,263 crore in the quarter ending December. Net Interest Income (NII) of the public sector lender rose by 27 percent to Rs 11,466 crore during this period.

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