PNB posts biggest bank loss of Rs 13000 cr in Q4

A 14 percent drop in Punjab National Bank's shares Wednesday morning suggests investors expect worse to come

A 14 percent drop in Punjab National Bank's shares Wednesday morning suggests investors expect worse to come

Punjab National Bank's asset quality has deteriorrated in the past few quarters.

Shares in the firm plummeted 12.21pc to 75.50 rupees on the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index shortly after opening Wednesday.

The CBI on Monday filed a chargesheet against Allahabad Bank MD and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian and 21 others, including 11 bank officials, in the over Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case in which diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi were allegedly involved.

PNB posts biggest bank loss of Rs 13000 cr in Q4

CBI has also charged 16 other firms with charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in a chargesheet filed in the CBI special court, Mumbai.

Aniyath Nair, director of Gili; Nitin Sahi, assistant finance officer of Gitanjali; Kapil Khandelwal, chief financial officer of Geetanjali; and Vipul Chetalia, head, banking operations of the Gitanjali group; have also been named as accused.

"Their capital is very low, and a bank needs it to sustain growth", said Yuvraj Choudhary, an analyst at Mumbai brokerage Anand Rathi, who said PNB's reported loss was more than triple his estimate, calling it a "major concern". Ananthasubramanian was earlier with the PNB.

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The PSU lender said it made provisions and contingencies worth Rs 20353.10 crore for the quarter ended March.

Incidentally, BDO India LLP, the firm engaged by PNB to conduct a forensic investigation into the fraud committed by Modi and his companies, has also shared its findings with the USA bankruptcy court.

The state-owned bank had reported standalone profit of Rs 261.90 crore in the fourth quarter of the preceding fiscal 2016-17. PNB's CASA (current account savings account) deposits increased to Rs 2,63,247 crore and its share in overall deposits was 43.85 per cent in March 2018, it said.

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The bank's fourth-quarter losses were largely incurred by having to set aside funds to pay the other banks for the illegal guarantees.

As per the quarterly number, the RBI detected Gross NPA divergence of Rs 2,207 crore during the FY17.

BDO also found that there were no records of four of the five Debtor LoUs [letter of undertaking] in PNB's CBS (Core Banking Solutions) system and they were not secured by any margin or collateral - Gokulnath Shetty, the former deputy manager at the centre of the fraud, had authorised them.

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