SBI mulls selling bad assets to ARCs in Jan-Mar quarter

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Country's largest bank SBI is considering partial sale of non-performing assets to asset reconstruction companies.

"We are considering some proposals to sell NPAs in the current quarter (Jan-Mar 2014). This is the first time we would be selling NPAs to ARCs," SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said here today.

NPA reduction is a major focus of the bank, she said but declined set a target where the bank aims to bring it down by way of recovery, restructuring or hiving it off to ARCs.

SBI's gross NPA ratio in October-December quarter rose to 5.73 per cent from 5.30 per cent over the corresponding period a year ago.

The bank had restructured standard assets worth Rs 6,100 crore during the Q3 and reportedly has a loan restructuring in pipeline of worth Rs 9,500 crore.

Asked about considering fresh lending to the power sector which was under stress for a few years, Bhattacharya said SBI was not seeing it at the moment despite some turnaround and easing of stress in the sector and may consider new projects for fresh disbursal to take place.

"We are seeing some turnaround in the power sector. After the FSAs (fuel supply agreements) of coal have been signed, we have seen some release of stress in the power sector," she said when asked about stress situation in power and roads sectors.

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