New Delhi: The government on Friday appointed senior banker Rakesh Sharma as managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of IDBI Bank.

Sharma was appointed for six months or until further orders and will have the task of ensuring a smooth transfer of majority ownership from the government to Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

Sharma is a former MD and CEO of Canara Bank and was among the few bankers hired in 2015 from the private sector to lead big state-run banks.

He takes over from B. Sriram, former MD of the State Bank of India (SBI), whose short three-month term at the helm of IDBI Bank ended last month.

LIC is in the process of taking over majority ownership of IDBI Bank as it looks to start its banking foray at the lender.

On Thursday, it made an open offer for 26% of IDBI shares amounting to more than 12,000 crore.

LIC’s taking over of IDBI Bank has been criticized over the corporation using public money to bail out a weak, loss- making bank. The bank’s losses widened to 8,237.92 crore in the financial year ended 31 March from 5,158 crore in the previous year. Its asset quality has also deteriorated with gross bad loans almost doubling to 55,588.26 crore during 2017-18 or 32.36% of the bank’s gross advances during the year.

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