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AllBank likely to enter insurance via subsidiary
HYDERABAD: Allahabad Bank is exploring options of foraying into the life insurance segment through its subsidiary AllBank Finance (ABF).
As part of the business model prepared by Ernst and Young, the bank is considering options of alternate revenue streams by entering broking, merchant banking activities, wealth management, insurance broking and underwriting.
Addressing a press conference after a management committee meeting to take stock of the FY05 performance here today, AllBank chairman & managing director ON Singh said the bank was in the process of exploring all the options of diversifying into other activities.
“We are considering entering insurance underwriting. The proposals on whether we should enter underwriting or broking are now at a discussion stage. We will look at the life segment if we decide on the insurance foray,” he told reporters.
ABF, with a capital of Rs 60 crore, was earlier an NBFC. But, the bank has now surrendered the NBFC license of the subsidiary.
The bank is not unduly concerned about the minimum capital requirement of entering the insurance segment. It is understood that the bank would look at tying up with a strategic foreign partner for its possible insurance foray.

Allahabad Bank plans 2-phase recast process

KOLKATA: Allahabad Bank is putting in place a restructuring process in two phases. It has mandated Ernst & Young (E&Y ) to chart out an elaborate technology and business process restructuring (BPR) plan, following which the bank will initiate an exercise on human resource management across its offices. National Institute of Bank Management is the institutional consultant to help the bank in the process of ‘skill-mapping’.
Once the entire exercise is completed over the next 30-40 days, Allahabad Bank will take a look into various aspects of managerial autonomy as well. Managerial autonomy was granted to all banks by the Reserve Bank of India recently. “The manpower policy will scrutinise both aspects related to the quality and quantity of workforce. The HR exercise will be a derivative of the IT and BPR process and will follow once E&Y submits its proposals over the next one month or so”, Allahabad Bank chairman and managing director ON Singh told ET.
“Managerial autonomy will provide the freedom to recruit people for specialised areas without the consent of the government. While the bank has already been recruiting such people, the idea is to get skilled personnel for marketing, treasury or financial analysis”, Mr Singh said. The bank may take a decision of having the optimum level of people vis-a-vis its business over the next five years.
Allahabad Bank is also weighing the possibility of segmenting its branches according to the volume of business transactions. The new norms may do away with routine placements in branches which are apparently scale bound.
“For instance, a branch with Rs 50 crore of business may be headed by say a chief manager, whereas an AGM may perhaps take charge of a treasury branch”, the chairman said.

AllBank to offer 10 crore equity shares

AGENCIES[ THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2005 02:19:13 AM]
MUMBAI: Making a second foray into the capital market in a three-year span, Allahabad Bank will issue 10 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each through its public offer which opens on April 6.
The issue will result in the bank's capital adequacy ratio (CAR) rising to 15.5% from the present level of 13%. The issue will also result in government shareholding coming down from 71.16% to 55.23%.
Shares under the issue will be sold through the book-building route with the pricing likely to be at a discount to closing price on the last day. The bank shares were last traded at Rs 99.6 on Wednesday.
"The issue is being made to augment our capital base to enable us to meet the capital requirements arising out of implementation of Basel II norms and also develop infrastructure for business growth," chairman and managing director O N Singh said.
The price band of the issue, which will remain open till April 12, will be decided a day prior to the opening, he said.

Allahabad Bank Q3 net up 62%
AGENCIES[ TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2005 01:15:24 PM]
Allahabad Bank has posted a net profit of Rs 159.25 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2004 as compared to Rs 98.36 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, according to a posting on the BSE Website.
Total income has increased from Rs 814.03 crore in Q3-03 to Rs 897.79 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2004.

Allahabad Bank gets Govt nod for second public issue
PTI[ MONDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2004 07:41:18 PM]
NEW DELHI: Government on Monday approved Allahabad Bank's second public issue of at least Rs 100 crore.
The bank plans to issue 10 crore equity shares at the face value of Rs 10 each, the bank informed BSE today.
An appropriate premium will be decided by the bank, it said.

AllBank to share ATM switch
KOLKATA: Allahabad Bank is in talks with a number of banks for sharing its ATM switch and aims to complete computerisation of all its branches over the next three months.
“We are the seventh Indian bank to have its own ATM switch and we would like to share it with others,” CMD ON Singh said.
The bank has its own ATM switch for connectivity of the atms to provide online banking facility to its customers in 32 cities across the country. It also offers instant fund transfer facility from 60 branches in nine centres through its dedicated network via Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS).
Mr Singh said a process had been initiated for implementation of Centralised Banking Solution (CBS) in the bank, which will enable it to meet customer expectations by offering a broad range of value-added services through ATMs, mobile, telephone, internet and call centres.
“We plan to spend over Rs 300 crore on CBS over a period of two and half years. Bids have been received from a number of companies like Wipro, Infosys, IBM and TCS,” Mr Singh said

AllBank, Indian Bank, BoI join UTI's ARC
MUMBAI: The second asset reconstruction company (ARC) in the country is set to be operational soon. Three state-owned banks — Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Indian Bank — have now come on board as shareholders in the asset recovery company sponsored by UTI-I, which is vested with all the assured return schemes of the erstwhile UTI. The other shareholder in the ARC is Life Insurance Corporation of India.
The board of UTI-I had earlier approved the proposal to float an ARC, which was conceived originally with the aim of taking over the bad loans of UTI, officials said. The Reserve Bank of India has also approved the incorporation of the company called ASREC (India). UTI -I is said to have the largest stake in this entity with a 49% stake. As of now, only one ARC is operational — Asset Reconstruction Company of India (ARCIL), which is promoted by ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and IDBI.
However, there are more aspirants keen to get a toehold in this segment. They include private equity fund Actis, formerly known as CDC, Standard Chartered Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, which are awaiting approvals from the RBI. Ace, an ARC promoted by IFCI and Punjab National Bank (PNB), had also obtained a licence from the RBI. However, it did not become operational as the finance ministry announced IFCI’s merger with a PSU bank..

Allahabad Bank's H1 net jumps 111%

KOLKATA: Allahabad Bank posted a 110.8% increase in its net profit at Rs 303.3 crore for the half year ended September 30, ’04, against Rs 143.9 crore in the corresponding period last year. The bank will come up with its second public issue of around Rs 100 crore in December.
“The premium is yet to be decided. The book-building process is expected to give a good price. The second round of capital infusion will help us supplement future expansion needs of the bank in the wake of Basel II norms,” ON Singh, CMD, Allahabad Bank, said on Monday, while announcing the bank’s results for the half year.
The second public issue is expected to reduce the government holding to about 60% from 71% at present. Public shareholding is estimated to go up from 29% to 40%. The bank was also contemplating an ADR a while back. However, Mr Singh said, “We would prefer to expand domestic operations.
Only 5 crore shares are effectively traded on the floor at present. The second float will automatically increase trading opportunities. On the other hand, we will have substantial amount of capital in Tier 1.”
Ruling out rumours of mergers with Andhra Bank and Bank of Maharashtra, Mr Singh said, “At the moment, we are not thinking of mergers. We have low representation in the four southern states and Maharashtra, where we would like to expand.” The bank’s operating profit grew to Rs 615.1 crore during the same period, a 91.8% rise over the corresponding six months of ’02-03.
Its business grew crossed Rs 55,000 crore and it set targets to complete the year with Rs 61,000 crore of business. Total deposits grew by 14.4% during April-September ’04. According to the chairman, the bank’s profits were mainly contributed by a 26% rise in interest income from core operations.
Disbursements under the retail lending schemes were more than Rs 675 crore, out of which housing loans stood over Rs 340 crore constituting 50.4% of the total disbursements. Over 250 specialised delivery channels of the bank in the form of retail banking boutiques drove retail lending activities.