Press Trust of India
Mumbai, 15 November
Country’s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) today said it will be raising up to Rs 5,000 crore through bonds (debt) by the fiscal end.
“(We have ) not yet (decided the exact amount). But it would be in the range of about Rs 5,000 crore. No timeframe but definitely before March end,” bank chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Bancon summit here.
Earlier this week, Ms Bhattacharya had said the SBI plans to raise over Rs 9,000 crore in tier-I capital through the qualified institutional placement route to strengthen its core capital. Besides, the government has also promised to infuse Rs 2,000 crore through a preferential allotment of shares.
Ms Bhattacharya, who took over as the head of the state-run lender in October, said the bank will lend to all the sectors where it sees viability but added that it will focus more on growing the retail book.
Referring to the inflation, which surged to 10 per cent for October, Ms Bhattacharya said she expects the much more challenging retail inflation to cool down by January as the services component is under control and with the arrival of more food stocks into the market on good monsoons.
She said the SBI has not been informed by the Reserve Bank about any move to extend the FCNR(B) deposits raising window.
The bank started late on the scheme, introduced by RBI in September to attract dollars, and has already mopped up to $500 million, she said, adding that the number will go up by the end of the month when the scheme is scheduled to close.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had earlier said that the banks have got in up to $18 billion through the scheme but some experts are of the view that it may be extended in order to take up the number to up to $30 billion. In spite of the problems on the economic front, Ms Bhattacharya said the SBI is maintaining its credit growth target at 16-18 per cent.