SBI has no plans to lend to SpiceJet

SBI has no plans to lend to SpiceJet

State Bank of India is not looking at extending any loan to the cash-strapped airline SpiceJet, Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said today.

Stating that the bank does not have any exposure to the airline, she said: "We just have two current accounts with the airline and the bank is not looking at giving any fresh loan to the carrier."

Earlier this week, the Civil Aviation Ministry had said it may request Indian banks/financial institutions to extend loans of up to Rs 600 crore to the airline.

A Ministry release had also that it would request the Finance Ministry to permit external commercial borrowing (ECB) for working capital as special dispensation.

On rupee volatility, she said it came only a few days ago and she needs to watch out how long it lasts.

On whether the bank is worried over unhedged corporate loan exposure due to the ongoing rupee volatility, she said "at this time no need to press the panic button."
"We always ask our clients to hedge but no one hedges completely. Hopefully all our clients have sensibly hedged what are the immediate requirements," she told reporters on the sidelines of launching tech-learning centres for customers.

She said the move is aimed at empowering the customers through technology and awareness of its tech channels amongst customers. The bank will be launching 385 such centres across the country, she added.

The first centre was launched by Reserve Bank Deputy Governor H R Khan here this evening.

She said by March 2015, there is a plan to install 4,000 additional cash-recyclers which serve the twin purpose of cash deposit and withdrawal. With these installations, the State Bank Group will have a network of 52,791 ATMs, CDMs, cash recyclers.

She said that around Rs 44 crore worth of transactions happen at RBI every month out of which Rs 37 crore are generated manually.

"Out of the Rs 37 crore transactions, 65 per cent take place on alternative channels like ATMs, mobile banking and the Internet. We aim to increase it to 85 per cent in the next one year," Bhattacharya said.

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