Many PSU banks may skip dividend payout this fiscal

17/01/2017 16:38

Hit by demonetisation and mounting bad loans, some public sector banks (PSBs) may skip paying dividend which will have implications for government receipts in the current fiscal, reported PTI.

Some PSU bankers have already indicated to the Finance Ministry that it may not be possible for them to pay dividend as their profits are likely to remain subdued due to lower credit offtake and rising NPAs, sources said without specifying the names of the banks.

As a result, they said, it is expected that the revenue from dividend from public sector banks is likely to be less than Rs 1,000 crore as many banks are going to skip dividend payment this financial year.

Gross NPAs of PSBs rose to Rs 6,30,323 crore at the end of September 30, as against Rs 5,50,346 crore by June, 2016.

According to analysts, normal banking operation was hit for almost two months due to demonetisation leading to decline in income operation of banks. The credit offtake hit a record low of 5.3 per cent following note-ban.

At this point of time, it seems difficult proposition that banks would be able to pay dividend this year when all of them are seeking higher capital, sources said.

Last fiscal, as many as 16 PSBs, including PNB, BoB and Canara Bank, skipped paying dividend in 2015-16, leading to three-fold decline in government receipts to Rs 1,444.6 crore.

Only six state-owned banks including SBI declared dividend, though at a lower rate, for the financial year ended March 2016.

Under the existing guidelines, profit making banks have to pay a minimum dividend of 20 per cent of their equity or 20 per cent of their post tax profit, whichever is higher.

The government, which is the majority shareholder in all the public sector banks, witnessed 67 per cent decline in dividend receipt from PSU banks at Rs 1,444.6 crore as against Rs 4,336.22 crore in the previous fiscal.

According to the Finance Ministry data, the highest dividend was paid by SBI to government at Rs 1,214.6 crore during 2015-16, 22 per cent lower than the previous fiscal.

As regards Union Bank of India, the dividend payout was one-third of the previous fiscal at Rs 85 crore. For Oriental Bank of Commerce, it was one-fifth compared to the previous financial year at Rs 12.4 crore despite increase in government holding due to capital infusion.

Those which skipped dividend payments included Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Punjab National Bank, Dena Bank and Syndicate Bank.

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