PNB may raise 2,000 crore from bonds by end of FY12

PNB may raise 2,000 crore from bonds by end of FY12

New Delhi: The country’s second largest public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) Wednesday said it may raise 2,000 crore from bonds by the end of the current fiscal.

“We may require some capital at the end of the year... We can raise something like 2,000 crore, depending on the interest rate condition," said PNB chairman and managing director K R Kamath.

“Interest rates are very high now. We are just waiting that in the third or fourth quarter, interest rates to soften, maybe that is the time we will enter the market and raise Tier I or Tier II capital," he said.

The funds raised would take care of the bank’s business growth plans.

The bank expects to witness loan growth of 20-22% in the current fiscal despite an increase in interest rates in the last 15 months.

Asked about the slowdown in credit growth due to a series of rate hikes by the RBI, Kamath said there has not been much of an impact. Advances are growing at the rate of 24% on a year-on-year basis, he said.

On the prospects of a rate hike by the bank in response to the monetary tightening measures adopted by the Reserve Bank of India at a review meeting last week, he said the bank would review the situation soon.

A rate hike would depend on two factors, liquidity in the system and credit demand, he said, adding that the bank’s liquidity condition is good.

Last week, the RBI raised key policy rates by 25 basis points in its bid to fight stubborn inflation.

On expanding the company’s global footprint, Kamath said the bank plans to enter Australia through a representative office, for which it has already received a licence.

“Our licence for a subsidiary in Canada is pending with the Canadian regulator and we are pursuing it. We are also pursuing our application for upgrading our office in Oslo in Norway into a full-fledged branch," he said.

Last year, the bank acquired a majority stake in Kazakhstan-based JSC Dana Bank for about $23.7 million (about 104 crore).

Meanwhile, the bank opened its first e-lobby in Delhi, where a customer can deposit, withdraw, update passbooks and do other transactions on his own with the help of technology.

This will help in decongestion of bank branches and will help serve the needs of customers in a better fashion, he added.