New Delhi: State-owned lender Andhra Bank is planning to raise 800-1,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) in the next five months to fund growth, a senior bank official said.

The lender is looking to close the QIP issue by December, which would bring down the government’s shareholding in the bank below the 60% mark, the official, who did not wished to be identified, said. The government’s holding in Andhra Bank stood at 61.26% as on June 30, 2017.

The proposal is expected to be cleared by the board shortly, after which the process for QIP would start, the official said adding, QIP is a cost effective way of raising money rather than follow on public offer.

“We got 1,100 crore from the government as capital in the last fiscal. After the fund infusion, the government’s shareholding in the bank increased," the official told PTI.

Andhra Bank’s capital adequacy ratio as per Basel-III norms stood at 12.38% as on 31 March.

The bank has no plans to sell or dilute its stake in its life insurance joint venture, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co Ltd, the official said.

“We have no plans to sell stake in life insurance JV as we feel the valuation of the company will go up in the next 2 -3 years. Though we are not getting much dividend, but the company is making profit, so it’s better to wait for some more time before taking a call," the official said.

Set up in 2009, IndiaFirst Life Insurance is a joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank, and the UK-based financial and investment company, Legal & General.

Andhra Bank has 30% stake in the company, while Bank of Baroda and Legal & General have 44% and 26% stake, respectively.

For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017, Andhra Bank reported a 32% decline in net profit at 35.13 crore on account of rise in bad loans.

The bank had posted a net profit of Rs51.60 crore in the corresponding quarter of preceding fiscal. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) as of March-end 2017 hit 12.25% as a percentage of gross loans, from 8.39% year ago.

Net NPAs or bad loans were of the order of 7.57%, up from 4.61%.

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