The country's largest lender, State bank of India (SBI) saw a rise of 10 percent in income from bonds and currency trading, despite the fact that profits from lending to corporates and individuals dropped. The bank's non performing assets increased. Net profit increased to Rs 2490 crore in the second quarter.
OP Bhatt, the Chairman of the bank said, "The performance would have been much better had it not been for the huge liquidity overhang, additional provisions for pensions and wage settlement."
The trimming of benchmark rates by the apex bank to help India fight the credit crisis, resulted in lower lending rates for borrowers but the banks, particularly public sector could not reduce deposit rates proportionately thus creating pressure on banks' profitability.
Sandesh Kirkire, chief executive officer at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company referred SBI as the ‘barometer' of the Indian economy, given its wide network and said that SBI should benefit from signs of revival in the global economy.
Treasury profits of the bank increased 236% from Rs. 162 crore to Rs. 545 crore, while gains from core fee income comprising commissions and brokerages rose 58 percent to Rs 2103 crore from Rs. 1331 the previous year.
The gross NPAs of the bank increased 2.99% in six month duration ending September 2009.