UTI Bank doesn''t need foreign strategic investment, says CMD

Mumbai: UTI Bank does not need any foreign strategic investment, nor is the bank looking for an equity capital as it had raised a subordinated debt of around Rs 100 crore from Life Insurance Cooperation of India last year, says UTI Bank chairman and managing director P J Nayak.

Saying that the bank is capable of raising an additional capital from the market on a "short notice," Nayak clarifies that the bank "is neither looking at raising funds by way of equity nor through tier-II capitals."

The CMD categorically says it has no plans at the moment to go in for mergers or acquisitions. UTI Bank''s retail portfolio, according to him, is expected to grow to 23 per cent during the current financial year, from 17 per cent posted during the last fiscal. "This will be mainly due to robust retail market conditions in India," he says.

The bank has a total corporate portfolio of around 83 per cent. Nayak says the bank''s non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at 1.9 per cent as on 31 March 2003. UTI Bank had shifted to a 90-day NPA norm from April 2003.

UTI bank on Monday launched a US dollar-denominated prepaid travel card, UTI Travel Currency Card, for foreign travellers. The card can be used at over 8.4 lakh visa and other ATMs and at around 13 million electronic point-of-sales terminals worldwide for making purchases or withdrawing cash. The card, however, is not valid for use in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

The card comes with a minimum loading of $500 and thereafter in multiples of $50. The customer can use the money in the denomination s/he wants and can withdraw cash from any ATM or can shop for even small amounts, he says. "We expect this multi-currency card to be a powerful substitute to carrying travellers cheque and cash. This will be available through the bank''s 260 ATMs in India and other outlets." .