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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Central Bank chairman says IPO on schedule

Central Bank of India, a leading public sector bank of India, will come out with its initial public offering, IPO within three months.

The bank’s chairman and managing director, HA Daruwalla, has said in no uncertain terms that the IPO would come by March, 2007, even as her visit to the city on Friday met with protests from the bank’s union, which is opposing the CMD and her policy on internal transfers.

“The company cannot tolerate any move by the union which hinders the institution’s progress,” Daruwalla is learnt to have told a meeting of over 200 Central Bank officials.

She was in the city on occasion of the bank’s 96th year of formation. Union members resorted to slogan shouting, protesting various policies, including that of transfers.

The bank has been facing hurdles from the union since 1999, sources said. When contacted, a union leader declined to comment.

“Only those who are underperforming need to be afraid of transfers,” Daruwalla is believed to have told the meeting. She also urged the officials to work towards regaining the lost glory of the bank, reports DNA.

Daruwalla took the reins of the bank as CMD 18 months ago and the bank has been transforming itself under her leadership. The bank is aiming to increase the number of branches under the core banking solution, CBS platform from the existing 251 to 700 by March 2007, an official said. The bank will also increase its ATMs from 230 to 300, sources said.

Central Bank is preparing a new balance sheet for the quarter ending December after which it will file a prospectus with Sebi for the IPO, sources said.

Central Bank has been ranked number one in customer service recently by a foreign organisation, Daruwalla said.

The company’s financial performance has improved with net profits almost doubling from Rs 108 crore in the second quarter of 2005 to Rs 215 crore in the corresponding period this year, sources said.

Central Bank aims to increase its profit to Rs 652 crore by March 2007, sources said.

The chairman has asked us to stick together to regain the bank’s past glory, an official present at the meeting said. The company has about 41,000 employees currently

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