Kolkata: UCO Bank has posted a net profit of Rs141 crore during the second quarter of the current fiscal. The bank recorded a 29-per cent increase in net interest income over the corresponding period of the previous year.
For the half year ended September 30, 2004, its interest income went up from Rs 1,521 crore posted during the corresponding previous half-year to Rs 1,725 crore. It recorded an operating profit of Rs 512 crore compared with Rs 490 crore posted during the corresponding previous half year.
V P Shetty, CMD,UCO Bank, said that the bank had a deposit base of Rs 42,210 crore as on September 30, 15 per cent higher than the deposit one year ago. Its advances during the same period went up by 32 per cent to Rs 28,803 crore. The total business increased by about 20 per cent to Rs 65,013 crore.
"Our net NPA ratio has come down to 3.09 per cent. We hope to reduce it further to three per cent in the coming months," he added.
The bank has extended business to over 40,000 new farmers during the half year. It has already aimed at doubling farm credit over the next three years, after pushing up agri advances by roughly 30 per cent - from Rs 2,109 crore in September 2003 to Rs 2,735 crore as on end-September 2004.
UCO Bank, which is not averse to a merger with another institution, hopes to engage a consultant to steer its plans. The bank, Shetty observed, has already talked to a reputed agency with the hope of engaging a suitable candidate for this purpose. However, no firm commitment has been provided.
"We are open to the idea of uniting our strengths with another entity of our kind. Whether we will acquire another bank or whether we ourselves are a takeover candidate is not significant at this stage," he said, adding that no clear proposal has been forwarded.