Punjab National Bank (PNB) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of Rs 5,367.14 crore as the nation’s fourth-biggest state-run lender by assets set aside more funds to cover a jump in bad loans.
Provisions, including for loan losses, nearly tripled from a year earlier to 104.85 billion rupees in the March quarter, the New Delhi-based lender said in a regulatory filing. PNB had posted a net profit of Rs 306.56 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
Banks in the country have seen a surge in bad loans after a clean-up ordered by their regulator, the Reserve Bank of India. The central bank wanted banks to classify some troubled accounts as non-performing and make adequate provisions for those over the December and March quarters.
Provisioning for non-performing assets grew almost threefold to Rs 10,485.23 crore in the fourth quarter compared with Rs 3,834.19 crore in the previous fiscal.
Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans rose to 12.9% in March from 8.47% in December, and 6.55% a year earlier.
PNB had recently declared a list of about 900 wilful defaulters including Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery, Zoom Developers and Nafed, which owe close to Rs 11,000 crore to the lender. The bank also declared beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines and its guarantors UB Holdings and Vijay Mallya as a wilful defaulters. Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs 1,500 crore to PNB.
PNB’s shares were trading 0.34% higher at Rs 74.05 on BSE.