Catholic Syrian Bank won’t merge with any bank: Chairman

October 20th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 20 (IANS) The Kerala-based Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd will not merge with any other bank, said a top company official here Monday. “There is no such possibility, though banks may hold shares of other banks,” Catholic Syrian Bank chairman and CEO R. Venkataraman told reporters, refuting news reports that his bank would be merged with Federal Bank,

Federal Bank holds around 5 percent stake in the Catholic Syrian Bank, and is reported to have some “well-wishers” on its board.

“There are several individuals who hold more than one percent stake in our bank,” Venkataraman said.

According to him, the bank is planning to expand its branch and automated teller machine (ATM) network.

“We have applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open 40 more branches and install 47 offsite ATMs,” he said.

According to him, the bank is targeting a total business of Rs.100 billion (deposits Rs.66 billion, advances Rs.34 billion) this fiscal.

“Till date we have done a business of Rs.93.60 billion (deposits Rs.57.50 billion, advances Rs.36.10 billion,” he added.

Saying the bank has sufficient liquidity, he agreed there will be pressure on the margins given the increasing cost of funds.

“The average cost of funds is around 6.66 percent.”

He said the bank has turned cautious in extending housing loans as the market is not good.

The bank will be raising Rs.1.33 billion from rights issue.

“The issue price is Rs.120 per share - Rs.10 face value and the balance premium,” Venkataraman said.

Meanwhile, the bank will network all its 256 branches through core banking solution (CBS) Maarvel developed jointly with the city based Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd.

Already 100 branches have gone live on Maarvel.

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