SBI sets 26% credit expansion target

SBI sets 26% credit expansion target

New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI) said it expects a loan growth of 26% in 2008-09 against 23% recorded last year.

“The internal credit expansion target is 26% for the current fiscal," SBI Chairman O P Bhatt said here after announcing results for the second quarter ended 30 September.

The country’s largest bank’s advances for the year ended March 2008 stood at Rs4,22,181 crore.

During April-September, the bank registered credit expansion of a whopping 162.35% at Rs51,020 crore against Rs19,447 crore in the same period a year ago.

SBI has drawn expansion plan for business growth that includes addition of 1,500 branches across the country.

“Last year, the bank opened 900 branches. This year, we plan to add another 1,500 branches at potential centres," Bhatt said.

So far, the bank has opened 500 branches and was awaiting approval from RBI for the remaining branches, he said, adding: “This will add to our topline and bottomline".

The bank’s total number of branches has surpassed 10,400 mark.

On the Qualified Full Banking licence accorded by the Singapore Monetary Authority, Bhatt said: “SBI is authorised to open 25 branches."

Currently, SBI has three branches and an equivalent number of ATMs in Singapore.

“The bank would focus on retail banking and back-end operations would be handled from India," he added.