A consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), has recovered Rs 800-1,000 crore from debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines, and is in the process of recovering the remaining dues of about Rs 6,000 crore.
"Kingfisher Airlines recoveries are going on. Total recoveries for banks are more than Rs 800-1,000 crore," SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri told reporters today.
The consortium of 17 banks has an exposure of about Rs 7,000 crore to the airline, which remains grounded for over the last six months. SBI's exposure is highest at Rs 1,600 crore, followed by Punjab National Bank and IDBI Bank at Rs 800 crore each. Bank of India and Bank of Baroda have an exposure of Rs 650 crore and Rs 550 crore, respectively.
"We are making all efforts. We have treated this loan 100 per cent provided for. It does not mean that we are not going after assets. We are going after all assets. The company's shareholding, real estate, personal assets, all is targeted," Chaudhuri added.
Banks have the brand of Kingfisher and shares of United Spirits as collateral which could get them about Rs 500 crore.
The consortium also has a residual right over the securities held by Srei Infrastructure Finance, which comes to about Rs 500 crore.
Earlier in March, Finance Minister P Chidambaram came down heavily on wealthy promoters not servicing bank loans in the garb of their company making losses. He had asked banks to take firm action against such wealthy promoters of sick companies to recover their dues.
Asked about transmission of the 25 basis points cut in the repo rate by RBI last week to customers, the chairman said it was not possible in the near term.
"With the repo rate cut, we don't get savings because our total repo borrowing is Rs 20,000 crore. So, if you reduce rate by 25 basis points, the saving will be Rs 50 crore. Total advances are to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore which comes to one basis point," he said, and added had there been a cut in cash reserve ratio, it would have would have provided room for cut.
The country largest lender had last reduced its base rate in January to 9.70 per cent from 9.75 per cent. On merger of five SBI associates with the parent company, he said it would be considered in July-August, in consultation with the government.
"Economic logic for a merger is as strong, as earlier we have merged the two associate banks; those banks have benefited, SBI has benefited, the country has benefited," Chaudhuri said.
State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad are its five associates. State Bank of Saurashtra and State Bank of Indore have already been merged into it.