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New Delhi-based public sector lender Punjab National Bank is planning to rationalise its branch network by shutting down or relocating up to 300 loss-making branches over the next 12 months.

Sunil Mehta, managing director and chief executive, said turning loss-making branches into profit-making units by tweaking the business strategy was priority.

Facing same predicament like most public sector lenders, Punjab National Bank’s credit costs might stay elevated for the second quarter ended September 2017. Credit cost is the amount set aside for bad loans. However, the pace of slippages, advances becoming bad loans, is expected to moderate.

While operating profits will see traction or improvement, the tepid demand for credit will be a drag on interest income, a key component in revenues, said an analyst.

Shares of PSU banks rallied heavily on Wednesday following Modi government’s plan to recapitalise the lenders with a huge capital size of Rs 2.11 lakh crore. The stocks of all the listed state-run banks on the PSU bank index of NSE traded in green today with a maximum rise of up to 40%. About Rs 7,300 crore worth of shares exchanged hands on the Nifty PSU Bank index within an hour trade which is Rs 2,300 crore (approx) short of Rs 9,600 crore turnover of Nifty as at 10:17 am. India’s largest bank by asset size and loan book — State Bank of India — jumped as much as 24.56% to hit the 52-week high of Rs 316.95.

Mumbai: State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) plans to raise equity capital through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) that could see the lender raise as much as $250-300 million, said two people aware of the development.

PNB is among the several state-owned banks that have planned to tap the capital markets to raise funds in order to recapitalize balance sheets laden with bad loans.

Punjab National Bank today said it plans to raise up to Rs 5,000 crore equity capital from the markets to fund growth.

The public sector bank however did not give any indication as to whether it would be raised by diluting government equity or issuing Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds.

PNB customers will have to shell out money beginning October if they carry out more than five transactions a month from the bank's ATMs.

At present, account holders of the country's second largest public sector bank can make any number of transactions in a month, financial or non-financial, at the bank's ATMs without attracting any charge.

Punjab National Bank and state-run firm BSNL today teamed up to roll out open mobile wallet Speedpay across 10 states in the country. PNB’s Speedway wallet will operate like any other mobile wallet for paying bills, recharging phone besides its users will be able to deposit and withdraw money from authorised retail outlets. Also, Speedway users will be able to operate Internet banking services from the application. “India is now second largest market in the world with 120 crore mobile users. Congratulating BSNL, Punjab National Bank and the technology partners in helping India moving towards less cash economy,” Telecom minister Manoj Sinha said at an event to mark the agreement signing ceremony between BSNL and PNB.

Punjab National Bank has cut marginal cost based lending rates by up to 0.25 per cent for select maturities, effective tomorrow. The state-owned lender has also slashed its base rate by 0.20 per cent to 9.15 per cent. “The bank has reduced marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 20-25 basis points with effect from September 1, 2017,” PNB said in a regulatory filing.

It has trimmed the MCLR by 0.25 per cent each for overnight to 7.75 per cent.

Punjab National Bank accounts for a staggering 13.2% of the total amount owed to public sector banks by wilful defaulters. As per PTI reports, the bank had 1,120 wilful defaulters having outstanding non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of Rs 12,278 crore in FY 2016-17. These numbers may be jaw dropping, but that has not deterred the Punjab National Bank’s stock to post returns of 23% in the year so far. This is despite the recent correction which has caused the stock to shed more than 8% in the last one month.

PNB Housing Finance has surged 6% to Rs 1,533 on BSE in early morning trade after the company reported a robust 93% year on year (YoY) jump in net profit at Rs 185 crore in June quarter (Q1FY18), on back of strong net interest income. The housing finance company had logged profit of Rs 96 crore in the same quarter an year ago.

Net interest income during the quarter under review rose 64% to Rs 344 crore from Rs 209 crore in the corresponding quarter of previous fiscal year.

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