Finance ministry seeks banks' view on more capital infusion

Finance ministry seeks banks' view on more capital infusion

Finance ministry seeks banks' view on more capital infusion

Pursuant to public sector banks' revamp plan, Indradhanush, Finance Ministry has asked NPA-laden state-run lenders to present their business plans to understand their incremental capital requirement following the RBI directives to clean up their books.

Some banks have already made their presentations to the North Block and the remaining are being called in now.

The Indradhanush plan envisages Rs 70,000 crore of capital infusion over the next four years. Of this Rs 25,000 crore each will be infused in FY16 and FY17 and Rs 10,000 crore each in FY18 and FY19.

The government estimates that state-run lenders would require Rs 1.8 trillion over the next four years. Banks will have to raise the balance Rs 1.10 trillion from the market.

But the calculation has changed after RBI identified top 150 defaulters and asked banks to make provisions for those accounts and clean their books by March, 2017.

Following this, the banks are demanding higher capital infusion from the government as they are unable to raise funds from the market in prevailing conditions, wherein their stocks are trading on an average almost 60 per cent below their March, 2015 high, and also as higher provisioning norms have left them cash starved.

Under Indradhanush, the government had already infused Rs 20,088 crore into 13 public sector banks last September and the remaining Rs 5,000 crore would be given in the March quarter looking at the performance in the first nine months.

"Due to this additional provisioning our capital adequacy will be impacted and to maintain it we will require capital from the government," a senior public sector banker told PTI.

Higher provisioning norms are going to impact banks profitability over the next few quarters.  

The banker said capital need for his bank has increased by more than Rs 1,000 crore than estimated during the beginning of the fiscal.

Lenders also said with a substantial amount of their funds going for provisioning for these 150 accounts, they are left with very little growth capital and so need support from the government.

Many banks, who were looking to raise funds through qualified institutional placement, are planning to defer them as market conditions are not very conducive.

"Interest in equity market has dwindled. We are seeing low retail participation and also foreign investors are not very keen. In such a scenario, raising money from market is not a good idea. We need support from the government," another senior public sector banker told PTI.

Recently, the country's largest lender State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya had expressed skepticism about launching the proposed Rs 15,000-crore follow-on public offer of the bank this year citing poor market conditions.

"At this point of time, I don't think we have any clear plans to go to the market with a QIP issue. I don't think it will happen this year but then let's see," she had said.