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Rural sector to drive growth

T.Y. Prabhu, chairman and managing director, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) is a happy man. The Delhi-based bank has posted a net profit of Rs 1134.68 crore for the fiscal 20091-10 — a growth of 25.32 per cent over the previous year — thanks to a healthy growth in core operations and net interest income. Prabhu shared his vision and plans for the current fiscal with Hindustan Times. Excerpts:

business Updated: May 03, 2010 00:58 IST
Mahua Venkatesh
Mahua Venkatesh
Hindustan Times

You have posted a healthy growth rate for 2009-10. What are your plans for this year?
Yes, we have managed to cross the Rs 1,000-crore mark in terms of net profit for the first time despite a huge drop in treasury income. We have managed to do this by focusing primarily on core operations that includes credit and also by bringing down the costs of deposits significantly. We will continue to do this even in this year.

Credit pick up has been slow even as the economy showed signs of real recovery. What is the reason?
Credit pick up has been slow as there are alternate financing channels but as we go ahead we expect credit growth to pick by the second quarter of the current fiscal.

What kind of credit growth are you targeting for 2010-11?
We expect a credit growth of 20 per cent in the current fiscal.

Which sectors do you think would boost credit growth for your bank?
We will focus on agriculture and the rural sector for credit growth. Besides, we expect areas such as micro and small enterprises, retail, mid corporates and infrastructure to boost credit demand in the current fiscal.

Do you think interest rates will go up in the near future especially now that the Reserve Bank of India has increased the key policy rates?
I do not think so. There is surplus liquidity in the system and there is no need to increase interest rates immediately.

Are you ready to implement the base rate mechanism to price your loans?
We are ready to implement the new system. It will bring in transparency though the base rate could vary from bank to bank depending on the size and scale of operations.

First Published: May 03, 2010 00:56 IST