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State Bank of India chairwoman Arundhati Bhattacharya on Wednesday said banks need some more clarity and dispensations to resolve the stressed assets problem. “We are looking at how to resolve the stressed assets problem, but we need some dispensations and more clarity. Unless those dispensations are given, it is difficult to take the resolution process forward,” she told reporters in Mumbai. Banks should be allowed to amortise losses on account of haircuts they will have to take while resolving a bad asset, Bhattacharya said.
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“If in case we need deeper haircuts, then can they be spread over a few quarters? In case we need certain types of instruments or conversion then for conversion can Sebi extend what they have allowed in SDR for these conversions as well,” she elaborated.
Bhattacharya said the resolution processes should be such that if bankers take decision, it cannot be challenged later. “We also need to ensure that whatever we do the process is such that it cannot be questioned and for this there are certain requirements which we are trying to ensure,” she said.
Banking sector has suggested to the roads ministry that planning of road projects be prepared by global consultants, she said. “In a recent meeting with the roads minister, we gave a suggestion to have project plans prepared by the global consultancy agencies, to create a kind of empanelment of such agencies, tracking how well they do these over the years and then accordingly rank them for future projects,” she said, adding the suggestion has been accepted by the ministry.
State Bank on Wednesday launched a Korea Desk in Mumbai in collaboration with the Korea Development Bank to help investments. “There is huge amount of trade going on between the two nations, therefore we feel that setting up of this desk will give traction to it,” Bhattacharya said. Bilateral trade was USD 16.89 billion last fiscal. The Korea Desk will facilitate establishment of a banking relationship with the Korean corporates and nationals, provide information on industries and sectors.
Such information can be utilised by Korean companies for taking business decisions and securing rupee funding here. The desk would also provide services like project advisory and appraisal, rupee funding, forex hedging and other treasury services, the SBI chairwoman said.