Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of the State Bank of India (SBI), poses for a photograph following an interview in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Calvin Sit/Bloomberg)

Finance Ministry Begins Hunt For Next State Bank Of India Chief

The finance ministry has initiated the process for finding a new chief of the country’s largest lender State Bank of India Ltd. (SBI), as Arundhati Bhattacharya’s extended term comes to an end on October 6.

“Department of Financial Services has communicated to Banks Board Bureau the emerging vacancies at the top level of public sector undertaking (PSU) banks which will have to be filled during course of the year,” a senior finance ministry official said.

This also includes chairman and one managing director of the SBI, which alone has market share of more than 20 per cent.

Bhattacharya will complete her four-year term as chairperson of SBI on October 6.

Besides chairman, SBI has four managing directors looking after different departments.

The post assumes significance as the bank has recently merged five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) pushing SBI into the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets.

Also Watch: SBI Gets Bigger

State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT), besides BMB, merged with SBI with effect from April 1. The process of integration would at least take a year.

The government had in February approved the merger of these five associate banks with SBI. Later in March, the Cabinet approved merger of BMB as well.

SBI first merged State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later, State Bank of Indore was merged with it.

For the fourth quarter ended March 2017, the bank reported more than doubling of its net profit on the back of increased lending and reduction in provisioning for bad loans.

Net profit of the bank on standalone basis rose to Rs 2,814.82 crore for the March quarter as against Rs 1,263.81 crore in the same period of previous fiscal 2015-16.

For the entire fiscal ended March 2017, the net profit of the bank improved by 5.36 percent to Rs 10,484 crore as against Rs 9,951 crore in the previous fiscal.

With stock prices inching up, SBI has lined up share sale through which it intends to raise Rs 15,000 crore during the current fiscal.

It is in the process of appointing six merchant bankers for managing its proposed share sale. The central government holds 62.22 percent stake in the bank as of March 2017.

Also Read: SBI Shareholders To Elect Four Independent Directors On June 15