Mumbai: A growing overseas business, coupled with increased lending to the agriculture sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), contributed to a rise of 51% in the net profit of Bank of India (BoI), a public sector bank with a presence in eight international locations. Its global business grew by 27% between June 2006 and June 2007 and now accounts for 20% of overall business. The bank reported a net profit of Rs315 crore in the April-June quarter, up from Rs209 crore in the three months to June 2006. Its shares closed at Rs256.8 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, down 1.36% from its previous close. T.S. Narayanasami, chairman and managing director of BoI, said that the bank had “seen growth in profitability on rising interest income from both domestic and global operations.” He added that the bank would go slow on retail advances this year and focus more on agriculture and SMEs.
Sarika Lohra, banking analyst with domestic brokerage Angel Broking, said that the profit growth was in line with expectations. “Public sector banks with international operations were earlier losing out on the technology front. Now these banks have given prime importance to beefing up technology, especially in its international branches and as a result have been able to increase their profits,” she added.
BoI announced a 23.7% rise in its net interest income to Rs947 crore from Rs765 crore. The bank has also reduced its bad assets or non-performing assets during the year to Rs2,027 crore from Rs2,522 crore a year ago.
While advances of the public sector lender grew by 27% to Rs88,513 crore from Rs69,814 crore in last 12 months to June, its deposit base grew 28% to Rs12,2358 crore.