Kingfisher needs $1 billion infusion says SBI chief

State Bank of India, (SBI), the largest lender to Kingfisher Airlines is disappointed at the latter's fund raising plans and according to Pratip Chaudhuri, chairman, SBI he did not see any urgency from KFA on that front.

SBI, which leads a 17-bank consortium of lenders that has collectively lent Rs7,000 to the crippled airline, has an exposure of Rs1,200 crore to KFA, which the carrier has not serviced interest since January.

Chaudhuri told reporters at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Gurgaon that he would like to support the airline as a going concern. He added, the airline needed to infuse at least $1 billion. The company had also been given time till 30 November by the bank to infuse equity as per media reports.

Emphasising that fresh fund infusion is imminent, Chauduri added that the bank was not interested where the capital would be coming from, whether it was coming from Mallya, group companies, India, overseas, airlines, whatever the source the bank was not concerned, but it would ike to see capital infusion to the tune of around $1 billion which would be a good starting point.

Chauduri  saidf, "We do not put a gun on their head but the more comes in the better because airlines are a very capital intensive business. I think about $1 billion would be a good starting point," However, he clarified that the bank was not forcing the carrier to bring in the money.

Over the past year, a number of banks including SBI had classified Kingfisher as non-performing asset (NPA). In fact, SBI had also sold a part of its stake in the airline.