ICRA downgrades bonds of Oriental Bank

ICRA has revised ratings outstanding on the Rs1,000-crore lower Tier-II bond programmes of OBC from AAA (stable) to AA+ (stable)

Credit rating agency ICRA has downgraded Oriental Bank of Commerce’s (OBC) bonds. ICRA has revised ratings outstanding on the Rs1,000-crore lower Tier-II bond programmes of OBC from AAA (stable) to AA+ (stable). It has also revised the ratings outstanding on the Rs1,250-crore upper Tier-II and perpetual bond programmes from AA+ (stable) to AA (stable). “The rating revision factors in deterioration in asset quality indicators of the bank, increase in its net non-performing assets (NPAs) in relation to its net worth and sustained pressure on its profitability,” ICRA said.

OBC’s asset quality deterioration is reflected in increase in Gross NPA from 1.95% as on December 2010 to 2.92% as on December 2011 (because of slippage in agriculture and small and medium enterprises sector and adoption of system based NPA recognition). OBC’s high level of restructured advances at 4.84% and has relatively higher exposure to vulnerable sectors such as weak state electricity boards and distribution companies, and aviation.

According to ICRA, some portion of these vulnerable exposures have been restructured or are in the process of being restructured with a moratorium of two to three years in most of the cases, which will ease pressure on gross NPAs over the short to medium term. However, vulnerability of those exposures continue to remain moderately high because of underlying weak financials of these entities and sectors.

Profitability of the bank deteriorated on account of decline in net interest margins (NIMs) from 2.8% in 2011 to 2.48% for the first nine months of 2011-12, and a rise in provisions in relation to average total assets from 0.81% in 2011 to 0.93% in the April-December period.

OBC was incorporated in the 1943 and was nationalised in April 1980. OBC has a strong franchise in northern India, which results in a stable deposit base and gives it access to a wide customer base.

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RBI ask banks to provide new interest rates on PPF, SCSS

According to a central bank circular, the rates of interest on PPF 1968 and SCSS 2004 will be 8.8% and 9.3% respectively from 1 April 2012. The new rates would be applicable during this fiscal

The Reserve Bank of India directed the banks to provide the higher interest rates on Public Provident Fund (PPF) and senior citizens savings scheme (SCSS) from 1 April 2012 as announced by the government.

According to a central bank circular, the rates of interest on PPF 1968 and SCSS 2004 will be 8.8% and 9.3% respectively from 1 April 2012. The new rates would be applicable during this fiscal.

Last month, the government had decided to increase the interest rate on PPF by 0.2% to 8.8%. The rate for SCSS has been hiked to 9.3% from 9%. RBI has also asked the bank to display the new rates for the two small saving schemes on their notice boards for the information of subscribers.

The government had earlier raised annual investment ceiling in PPF savings to Rs1 lakh from Rs70,000. The hike in interest rates on small savings schemes is based on the recommendations of the Shyamala Gopinath Committee which had suggested linking of interest rates on small savings with that of the market. The panel had also suggested that the interest rates on small savings schemes should be revised annually.

The revision in the interest rates will help in maintaining the attractiveness of the small savings schemes vis-a-vis fixed deposit schemes operated by banks. The government as part of economic liberalisation process had freed the interest rates on banks deposits giving freedom to lenders to fix rates depending upon the asset-liability position, but continued to fix rates for small savings schemes.

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COMMENTS

Ramachandran

4 years ago

Is the enhanced interest rate of 9.3% for the SCSS scheme applicable for existing customers?

Ramachandran

4 years ago

Is the new interest rate applicable to existing customers of SCSS scheme?

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