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PNB net loss narrows to Rs 9,975.49 crore in FY19 on lower provisions; asset quality improves

Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Tuesday reported narrowing of its net loss to Rs 9,975.49 crore in the financial year 2018-19, helped by decline in provisions and improvement in asset quality. The scam-hit lender had posted net loss of Rs 12,282.82 crore in FY18, after the bank discovered a banking fraud of Rs 14,000 crore which was orchestrated by fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

"The total income of the bank declined marginally to Rs 58,687.66 crore versus Rs 56,876.63 crore in the last fiscal," PNB said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The operating profit for FY19 climbed by 26.23 per cent to Rs 12,995.24 crore as compared to Rs 10,294.20 crore in FY18. The bank's provisions and contingencies declined marginally to Rs 28,341.01 crore from Rs 29,869.28 crore in the last year.

PNB's asset quality improved in FY19 with gross non-performing assets (NPAs) ratio - bad loans as a percentage of gross advances - declining to 15.50 per cent versus 18.38 per cent in the previous year. Net NPA also fell to 6.56 per cent as compared to 11.24 per cent in the last fiscal.

In accordance with the Reserve Bank of India guidelines, PNB made a provision of Rs. 11,940.15 crore towards its exposure to accounts covered under provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the bank said in its exchange filing.

During the January-March quarter, the bank's net loss narrowed to Rs 4,750 crore as compared to loss of 13,417 crore reported in the same quarter last year.

The public sector lender's net interest income (NII), which is the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew 37.1 per cent year-on-year to Rs 4,200 crore in Q4 FY19. Net interest margin (NIM) of PNB increased to 2.45 per cent from 1.90 per cent in the March quarter of 2018.

During the March quarter, the bank restructured 13,682 MSME accounts worth Rs 622 crore.

The bank's board has not declared any dividend for the financial year ended March 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, PNB shares were trading at Rs 86.55 apiece, down 3.08 per cent, over its previous close on the BSE.

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