SBI to open 1,200 branches, 8 overseas offices next fiscal


State Bank of India (SBI) plans to open about 1,200 branches in the country and another eight branch offices overseas, including China and the UK, in the next fiscal.

Plans are afoot to open two branches each in Bangladesh and the UK and one each in China, the Netherlands, South Korea and Sri Lanka, bank sources said. In the case of South Korea, the existing representative office of SBI would be upgraded into a full-fledged branch.

The move to open branches in offshore locations is aimed at catering to Indian businesses and Non-Resident Indians. With addition to these eight branches, SBI's offshore network will increase to 59. SBI, India's largest bank, has 14,677 branches across the country.

Under the bank's domestic expansion plans, about 100 branches would be opened in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, TamilNadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the state-owned bank is in the process of recruiting 1,500 probationary officers to man its increasing operations. The bank has received 17 lakh applications for these posts. For the October-December period, the bank had reported only four per cent growth in profit at Rs 3,396 crore. It's total income was Rs 33,992 crore during this period as against Rs 29,787 crore in the same period a year ago.

The gross Non-performing Assets (NPAs), which represents portion of bad loans, stood at Rs 53,457 crore at the end of December, up from Rs 40,098 crore in the year-ago period. The gross NPA as a percentage of total loan rose to 5.30 per cent during the quarter, from 4.61 per cent in the year ago period. The net NPA was at 2.59 per cent of loans in the December quarter.

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