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PNB to expand overseas footprint, to open representative office in Dubai

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NEW DELHI, June 9: State-owned Punjab National Bank plans to open a representative office in Dubai, as part of its plan to expand its global footprint.

The bank has got the board of directors’ approval for opening a representative office in Dubai and the process is on for seeking regulatory clearance, PNB managing director Atul Kumar Goel told PTI.

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Hopefully, he said, the representative office should come up during the current financial year, if all regulatory approvals are in place.

As on March 31, 2024, PNB had presence in six countries by way of two subsidiaries (London-UK and Bhutan), one joint venture (Nepal), two representative offices (Myanmar and Bangladesh).

Talking about the strategy to improve profitability, he said, the focus would be on expanding retail, agriculture, MSME (RAM) portfolio, extending good corporate loans, controlling slippages and improving recovery.

Besides, he said, the thrust would also be on improving the forex income and garnering higher fee income from selling third-party products to augment non-interest income.

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With regard to improving interest income, he said, the focus would be to increase low cost deposit CASA (Current Account Savings Account).

CASA as a percentage of total deposit stood at 41.4 per cent at the end of March 2024, he said, the target is to improve beyond 42 per cent by the end of the current fiscal year.

The bank intends to keep credit cost below 1 per cent during this financial year.

With all these efforts, he said, the Return on Assets (ROA) is expected to increase to 0.8 per cent during the year and touch 1 per cent by the end of March 2025, translating into a substantial jump in profit.

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Asked about anticipated business growth in the current financial year, Goel said, credit growth is expected to be 11-12 per cent, while deposit would be 9-10 per cent.

To fund this business growth, the bank has taken approval of raising capital to the tune of Rs 17,500 crore from Tier I and Tier II bonds and share sale through private placement during the year.

During FY’24, the bank had raised Rs 10,000 crore from Tier I and Tier II bonds at a very competitive rate, he added. (PTI)

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