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FM Jaitley to soon meet PSU bankers on NPA, stake sale issues

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet PSU bankers to discuss stake sale plans and the problem of rising bad loans which have crossed a staggering Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

“Banks are coming to meet me. Some of the banks are meeting me with regard to some immediate issues” this week, he said.

He was replying to a question on how the government is planning to deal with the rising NPAs (non-performing assets) in the banking sector.

“NPAs is an area of concern. You see the private sector investment and the private sector performance has to pick up (that would ease pressure with regard to bad loans),” he said.

As per an RBI data, gross NPAs of PSU banks have gone up to Rs. 2,60,531 crore as on December, 2014.

The top 30 defaulters are sitting on bad loans of Rs. 95,122 crore, which is more than one-third of the entire non-performing assets of public sector banks. In terms of percentage, it amounts to 36.50 per cent.

The government, he said, has already allowed banks to lower government stake to 52 per cent, which would enable them to raise capital from markets.

State Bank of India (SBI) and a few other public sector lenders are expected to raise funds of over Rs. 16,000 crore from the market to meet their capital requirement.

The government has allowed SBI to raise Rs. 15,000 crore and Oriental Bank of Commerce to mobilise Rs. 1,000 crore from the market.

At the same time, Canara Bank intends to raise funds by offering four crore equity shares. At the current market price, the bank would be able to raise about Rs. 1,500 crore.

Public sector banks could raise Rs. 1.60 lakh crore by reducing government stake to 52 per cent.

Out of 27 PSBs, Government of India controls 22 through majority holding. In the remaining five banks, state-run SBI holds majority stake.

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