Kerala banks flush with NRE Deposit

Tuesday, 30 March 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala banks continue to be flush with Non-Resident External (NRE) deposits.

The total NRE deposits in these banks as on December 31, 2003, reached a record figure of 297.69 billion as against a total deposit of 621.69 billion.

This was revealed Tuesday at the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting here.

According to the figures for the second quarter ending September 30, 2003, the total NRE deposits had risen from 288.70 billion in the first quarter of the current financial year to 289.97 billion.

There was also an increase in deposits -- which went down from 617.76 billion in the first quarter to 611.18 billion in the second quarter. The figure has again shown a positive growth trend, touching 621.69 billion on December 31.

The State Bank of Travancore continues to lead in terms of the total NRI (non-resident Indian) deposits. It today has a record 69.88 billion, up from 67.73 billion in the second quarter.

The Federal Bank, a scheduled bank, maintains the second position with Rs 42.74 billion, up from 41.85 billion in the second quarter.

State Bank of India is third with 37.10 billion, up from 36.06 billion in the second quarter.

Kerala had a record 3,401 branches of various banks as on December 31 with the SBT having 552 branches followed by Federal Bank with 310 branches, Canara Bank with 242 branches and SBI with 233 branches.

The Kerala economy for well over two decades has consistently been propped up by regular and increasing deposits made by the nearly 1.6 million non-resident Keralites, a majority of them
in the Middle East.

Senior SBI official V.K. Bhat said that the main reason for the increase in both total deposits and NRE deposits in the third quarter was the redemption of the Resurgent India Bonds that took place on October 1.

"With the last quarter of the current financial year coming to a close tomorrow, the overall deposits would be higher than the last year but the rate of growth witnessed in the nineties will not be there due to falling interest rate. People are now putting their money into real estate, stock markets and even buying of gold," said Bhat.

Today the NRE rupee deposits fetch just three percent interest and foreign currency non-resident accounts in dollar is a mere 2.58 percent.

Source: IANS
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