Hyderabad: SKS Microfinance Ltd has decided to change its name to Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd.

“The corporate name change decision has been taken in view of the fact that the company’s core has undergone a transformation equipping it to play a major complementary role in fulfilling the national priority of financial inclusion," SKS said on Wednesday.

Vikram Akula, the ousted founder of SKS Microfinance, had named the company Swayam Krishi Sangham or SKS, meaning self-help group. The new name Bharat, according to the company, emphasizes on its vast rural network across the country. The name change is subject to regulatory and corporate approvals.

SKS on Wednesday said fiscal fourth-quarter profit, excluding those of its units, doubled to 84.4 crore from a year earlier.

Revenue rose 68% to 330 crore from 197.6 crore in the year-ago period.

The company’s board also approved a proposal to raise as much as 750 crore by selling securities in one or more tranches.

The company’s gross loan portfolio rose 24% to 7,677 crore from the preceding December quarter. A chunk of SKS’s assets are now in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar and West Bengal.

Of its total fund requirement, SKS raised 53% from term loans and 23% from securitization.

SKS charges its customers an interest rate of 19.75%, being among the few microfinance companies to charge less than 20%. The lower rate is because SKS’s marginal cost of borrowing has dropped in the past few quarters. In the fourth quarter, it fell to 9.2% from the preceding quarter’s 9.9%.

On Wednesday, shares of SKS Microfinance closed 2.95% down at 596.15 apiece, while the benchmark Sensex ended 0.51% lower at 25,101.73 points.

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