Centurion Bank net loss drops

Mumbai: Centurion Bank, which is being taken over by the Rana Talwar-led Sabre Capital Worldwide, has reported a sharp drop in its net loss for the quarter ended 31 March 2003. The net loss came down by 89.6 per cent to Rs 11.39 crore from Rs 109.66 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The bank convened an extraordinary general body meeting in Goa today to seek shareholders'' approval for change of management control and infusion of capital to revive it.

For the full financial year, the bank has registered an 84-per cent decrease in its net loss for the year ended 31 March 2003 at Rs 25.36 crore, down from Rs 161.84 crore in the previous year.

Centurion Bank chairman and managing director V Janakiraman says the net loss of Rs 25.36 crore should be viewed against the fact that the bank had taken an "extraordinary one-time loss of Rs 14.10 crore on account of the sale of certain non-banking assets, namely windmills."

The bank''s capital adequacy is at 1.95 per cent as on 31 March 2003 and is expected to touch 7 per cent by September following the first phase of the capital infusion and should cross the regulatory minimum of 9 per cent with the second tranche of the capital for the rights-cum-public issue, according to A Ashokan, executive director.

"The first phase of the capital of Rs 154 crore should come in by August/September-end and the Rs 65-crore rights-cum-public issue is likely to be in November 2003," says Janakiraman said. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) were at 15.13 per cent while net NPAs were at 7.51 per cent, up from 5.82 per cent in the previous year.