Federal Bank eyes MF business

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After a foray into the life insurance business and setting up of a NBFC subsidiary, Kerala-based Federal Bank is now looking at the mutual fund (MF) vertical for further expansion of its operational domain, a top official said.

The bank is also in the process of divesting 26 per cent stake in the fully-owned NBFC arm, Fedfina, to a strategic investor to raise capital for the subsidiary.

“We are evaluating the mutual fund business. The bank is also looking at buying out portfolios in retail and large ticket home loans,” MD and CEO of Federal bank Shyam Srinivasan said.

Fedfina, he said, is in the distribution business and also in the underwriting of loans for which it has generated a loan book of Rs 1,250 crore.

“The loan book of Fedfina is expected to double for which capital is needed. The equity divestment is towards that requirement and we are in talks with two prospective bidders,” Srinivasan told reporters here on Wednesday.

The strategic investor would be finalised by the end of the fiscal, he said.

Regarding the banking operations, he said equal stress is being given to corporate, MSME and retail loans.

The bank’s gross NPA level has been coming down over the last three years and stood at 2.3 per cent at present, he said.

Post-demonetisation, digital transactions of the bank increased from 48 per cent to 63 per cent, he said.

The bank’s business size stood at Rs 1.85 lakh crore.