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Infrastructure lender IFCI Ltd's net loss ballooned to Rs 1.7 billion in the December quarter of the current fiscal as bad loans shot up, requiring higher provisioning. The company's net loss in the October-December period of last fiscal, 2016-17, was about a fourth at Rs 451.7 million. As slippages increased, the provisioning against bad and doubtful assets as well as write offs nearly trebled to Rs 4.1 bilion during the third quarter of 2017-18, up from Rs 1.39 billion a year ago. IFCI MD and CEO Emandi Sankara Rao said: "Efforts are being made for recovery from stressed assets and non- performing assets (NPAs). "Divestment from strategic and project investments is likely to yield results in the near future.
The entire financial sector is under stress due to the burden of NPA, significantly in the infrastructure and iron & steel sectors." He told reporters that IFCI is no exception to this and large amount of slippage in standard assets to non-standard assets in 2016-17 and in the first quarter of the current fiscal has impacted the operational income and net earnings. Total income of the company rose however by 3.1 per cent to Rs 6.5 billion in the December quarter, as against Rs 6.3 billion in the year-ago period. IFCI said that as a change in strategy it is targeting more promising business areas like electronics, logistics, chemicals, pharma, shipping and airports where it has a lending pipeline of Rs 40 billion. The company will also reduce its investment portfolio and increase the lending book with an aim to disburse about Rs 5 billion every month to build a quality asset to make good its balance sheet. As a consortium partner to banks, IFCI also has an exposure of about Rs 27.7 billion in 12 of the accounts that have been referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for loan recovery by the Reserve Bank. "In the list of first 12 (accounts listed by RBI), we have exposure to six cases (to NCLT) and in the second list also we have exposure to six accounts. We have taken all this into cognisance and what is required on a prudential basis provisioning has been done till date," Rao said. As a non-banking financial company (NBFC), IFCI is not required to provide for the loans that have turned sour, Rao said, adding that it has done a 51 per cent provisioning as a prudential measure which is voluntary so as to clean up our book and do better next year. The company stock closed 2.17 per cent down at Rs 24.80 on BSE.