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PNB plans major global expansion

Aiming at Rs 2,00,000 crore business this fiscal, Punjab National Bank is poised for a major global expansion including in countries like UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.

"The growth in deposits and advances will be in the projected line for the quarter ended December 2005," PNB chairman S.C. Gupta said, inaugurating the bank's North Delhi Zone.

PNB is aiming 18-20% growth in business (advances and deposits) at Rs 2,00,000 crore this fiscal.

PNB expects deposits to cross Rs 1,15,000 crore in 2005-06 from Rs 1,03,167 crore in 2004-05, and loan advances to grow from Rs 60,413 crore to Rs 72,000 crore. Till September, the bank's business stood at Rs 1,73,282 crore.

Gupta said PNB's performance in lending to priority sector including agriculture sector is well ahead of the targets till December this fiscal.

He said the bank is also witnessing strong demand for credit in sectors like infrastructure keeping in line with economic growth projected at 8-10% in coming years. The net interest margin of the bank which rose from 3.76% in March 2005 to to 3.9% in September will remain 3.85-3.95% by March 2006, Gupta said. While witnessing strong growth in India, Gupta outlined major global expansion plans.

The bank is awaiting RBI's approval for converting London office into a subsidiary and opening branches in Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada.

(The Times of India)

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