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Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank looks to enter infra, retail lending

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 16, 2019  | 18:53 IST

Mumbai, May 16 (PTI) Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank is looking to enter infrastructure and retail lending segments, to broaden its borrower profile, a senior bank official said Thursday. The bank continues to be under a Reserve Bank of India-appointed administrator, after its elected board was alleged to have mismanaged the bank. "We cannot have all our lending to the sugar factories (cooperatives) alone. What if they go down? Therefore, we have decided to diversify and start infra and retail lending," its administrator Vidyadhar Anaskar told reporters here. Anaskar said it will focus on automobile, home and personal loans under the retail segment, while the infrastructure loans will be for projects which will benefit the state. He said co-operative banks are allowed to write unsecured loans of up to Rs 2 lakh, which can go up if a salary-linked account is attached to it. When asked if it is looking to open more branches beyond 57, he said this task will be accomplished through mergers. It is conducting diligence and negotiations to merge two struggling co-operative banks, one each based in Mumbai and Pune, with itself, he said. The bank has reported a net profit of Rs 316 crore for the fiscal year 2018-19, up from the year-ago period's Rs 201 crore, while the stock of gross non-performing assets improved to 7.35 per cent from 9.91 per cent in the Rs 19,700 crore book. Its capital adequacy stood at 16 per cent as against the mandatory requirement of nine per cent, while the overall net worth was Rs 2,717 crore. When asked for a timeline by when the bank will go back to being run by an elected board, Anaskar said the matter is subjudice and will be decided by the Bombay High Court. PTI AA AP HRS

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