Andhra Bank to increase lending under agricultural, SME segment
By Neelima Shankar
Dec 28, 2012
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The public sector bank, Andhra Bank, is planning to increase its focus on agricultural, micro, mini and small enterprises segment and aims to augment lending under these heads.

On the matter, the Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Bank, Mr. B. A. Prabhakar said that these two segments has been recognized as priority business segments by the bank due to the huge growth potential in these sectors. Also, the bank has managed to keep non-performing assets under control for these two segments.

According to the business portfolio of Andhra Bank, its agricultural segment has grown year-on-year by 26 percent, its SME segment has grown y-o-y by 18 percent whereas its retail segment has grown by just 13 percent so far. This could be due to the fact that although it is receiving increasing number of retail loans applications, big banks are giving stiff competition with their low interest rates.

Prabhakar added, "However, we have been trying to encourage retail lending. A lot depends on quality and service in which we have an advantage."       

He also said that in the existing business environment, the deposit growth of the bank could be anywhere from 14 percent to 16 percent, whereas the credit growth has been recorded at 15 percent to 16 percent. The net interest margin of the bank stands at 3.1 percent in the current quarter.

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