Despite hovering losses, NPAs decline at PNB

Chennai: India’s second-largest public sector lender, Punjab National Bank (PNB), slipped into the red, incurring net losses of Rs 4,750 crore in the January-March quarter, after posting a net profit of Rs 247 crore in the preceding quarter.

The bank posted losses of Rs 13,417 crore in the year-ago period.

The lender could not garner profit in the quarter ended March as recovery from stressed assets of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore were stuck in insolvency courts, PNB managing director and chief executive officer, Sunil Mehta, said.

PNB’s provisions declined 41.3 per cent year-on-year to Rs 7,611 crore in January-March. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the quarter fell to 15.5 per cent from 18.38 per cent year-on-year, while net NPAs declined to 6.56 per cent from 11.24 per cent.

Net interest income grew 37.1 per cent from a year-ago period to Rs 4,200 crore in the March quarter. Net interest margin rose from 1.9 per cent in the March quarter of 2018 to 2.45 per cent.

Due to an improvement in the asset quality, led by lower provisioning, fewer NPAs and fresh slippages, PNB’s net loss narrowed to Rs 9,975 crore in 2018-19, from Rs 12,283 crore a year ago.

NT Bureau