Bank of Baroda (BoB) on Wednesday reported a Rs 1,061-crore profit for the quarter ended December, against a net loss of Rs 1,407 crore a year ago, as provisions fell 45% year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs 3,957 crore.
Net interest income (NII) – the difference between interest earned and interest expended – stood at Rs 7,749 crore, was up 9% y-o-y. The net interest margin (NIM) rose 11 basis points (bps) sequentially to 3.07%. The operating profit rose 12.8% y-o-y to Rs 5,591 crore.
The gross NPA ratio at the end of December stood at 8.48%, down 66 bps sequentially. Net NPAs were at 2.39%, 12 bps lower than 2.51% at the end of the September quarter.
BoB has made contingent provisions of Rs 1,522 crore as a prudent measure. Total additional provisions as on December 31 stood at Rs 1,891.5 crore. The provision coverage ratio (PCR) improved to 85.46% from 77.77% a year ago.
The management said any worsening in the asset quality is likely to be led by the retail and MSME segments. Sanjiv Chadha, MD and CEO, said over the last two-three months, there has been a sharp recovery and the main beneficiary of this recovery has been the corporate piece. The return of demand, profits and pricing power have accrued mainly to companies and that adds resilience to the corporate book. Also, companies have already been through a phase of stress in recent years. So, the ones that remain standing are more resilient and offer comfort to the bank.
“There will be stress in some parts of the book, but we have fair handle in terms of how much is there and what are the likely implications. But, in terms of the known-unknowns, things which have not fully played out yet that is where the MSME and retail are,” Chadha said, adding, “Particularly, retail is the kind of book which was not being stress-tested. The kind of stress we are seeing now is something which is unprecedented, and therefore, it is likely that there may be some slippages which you cannot anticipate.”
It has become harder to foresee or address retail stress, Chadha said, because a glance at the bank’s restructured book shows that 80% of it has come from corporates and the retail accounts for a very small figure. “Therefore, we have not been able to address whatever stress might be there at least through the restructuring mode – which means that either people will actually start paying up on time [or] there is a fair possibility that some stress will come through NPAs.”
At the same time, BoB is not too worried about major retail slippages because unsecured retail loans constitute less than 1% of its loan book. More than 70% of the retail book is made up of home loans.
Domestic advances grew 8.31% y-o-y to Rs 6.33 lakh crore at the end of December. The current and savings account (CASA) ratio improved 240 bps y-o-y to 41.2% in Q3FY21. Domestic deposits rose 6.74% y-o-y to Rs 8.35 lakh crore. The bank expects to clock a loan growth of 7-8% in FY21 and raise Rs 2,000-4,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) in the current quarter.
BoB’s shares ended up 0.07% at Rs 73.85 on the BSE.
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