Author : M. Ramesh
Debt recovery brighter on realty boom
Chennai , July 4
Indian Bank is seeing a gradual pick-up in its recently launched initiatives in the areas of credit card, gold, and depository participant services.
The bank launched its credit card in January. It has issued 6,700 cards so far. "Another 1,200 cards are in the pipeline," said Mr S.K. Bandyopadhyay, General Manager. He told Business Line today that till now, Rs 4.27 crore has been spent by the cardholders, on which the bank earned a little over Rs 5 lakh.
This, Mr Bandyopadhyay said, was slightly lower than the bank's projections. "But we will make it up in the coming months, because the business is growing very fast." He also said that the recently recruited MBA graduates were assigned the job of marketing the cards. Initially, the cards are to be sold to the bank's existing customers, numbering about two crore.
The bank started selling gold biscuits in March. Till date it has sold 152 kg of gold for about Rs 15 crore, earning Rs 1.25 crore in the process. The bank expects to sell Rs 30 crore worth of gold this year.
The recently started depository participant (DP) services are also seen to be shaping up well, Mr Bandyopadhyay said. The bank got its DP licence only a few weeks back, but has already notched up about 300 clients. "People are asking for online trading facilities," he said, adding that the bank intends to put in place the infrastructure for online trading before August 15.
These businesses will grow, as they are spread across the 1,400-odd branches of the bank.
The Chairman and Managing Director, Dr K.C. Chakrabarty, said that the bank would open 45-50 branches in the current year.
Having put the high-value property of Media Communications Services on the block, with the help of the Debts Recovery Tribunal in Chennai, Indian Bank expects to turn its attention to the other big-ticket NPA - MVR Industries.
The prospects of recovery from the long-delinquent account have given him the confidence to set a target of Rs 500 crore of NPA recovery in the current year.
The upset price for the Mount Road property of Media Communications has been set at Rs 85 crore, but Dr Chakrabarty is confident of getting much more when the bidding starts. Also buttressing the confidence is possibility of recovering MVR Industries's Rs 100-crore dues. MVR Industries owns over 30 grounds of land in Guindy in Chennai. The property was to be auctioned in 2003, but that did not happen. Property prices in Chennai have since escalated.
Source : The Hindu Business Line