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A top official of Syndicate Bank Thursday said the bank's focus would be recovery of Non Performing Assets (NPAs), which have been a major cause for concern for the Public Sector Bank. S Krishnan, Executive Director of Syndicate Bank, said the bank has created a pool of 1,200 officers, who have been deployed across the country to bring down the NPA.
"What we expect is that by the end of this year, our Net NPA will be below six per cent. It was 6.98 per cent in the last quarter," Krishnan told reporters here. He said the bank hopes that the gross NPA could be brought down below 12 per cent from 12.98 per cent in the last quarter. Krishnan said banks have NPAs in the corporate sector and agriculture sectors. He said NPA in agriculture was also a "cause of concern" for the bank, particularly in view of farm loan waivers being announced by various state governments. "Recovery of agriculture NPAs becomes a little difficult but we approach all the farmers and explain to them," he said. Asked whether the farm loan waivers announced by various state governments would affect the NPA recovery, he said, "I will not say that it will affect the NPA recovery". Krishnan was in Kochi to attend a "town hall meeting" with its staff members of Ernakulam region. Addressing the meeting, he informed the employees that the bank proposed to raise equity of upto Rs 500 crore by issuing stock to its staff members under the EPS scheme.
The bank would issue 300 million shares to employees to raise the capital, he said. "The move of employee share allotment is with the twin objective of retaining talent while raising capital. The government/public shareholding is presently in the ratio of 72:28 and the government may be willing to shed two per cent of its ratio," Krishnan said.