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The country's leading commercial bank State Bank of India (SBI) has clocked a net profit of Rs 2815 crore in the quarter ending March 2017 against Rs 1264 crore in the corresponding previous period. Operating profit of the bank during the quarter increased 13 per cent at Rs 16,026 crore as against Rs 14,192 crore in the same previous period. SBI chairman Arundhuti Bhattacharya said that this was its last solo financial result as all the associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank had been merged with it. Commenting upon the quarter, she said it had been difficult but satisfying quarter and the biggest thing which had happened was the merger. "This was a seven-way merger and the first time in the history of the world," Bhattacharya told reporters here today. She said SBI had done well on a solo basis AND THE BANK had decided to absorb the maximum pain arising out of the merger as a result of which the current quarter would be stressful. "In the near term, margins will be under pressure due to elevated credit cost due to the merger. At the same time the deposits of the associate banks will be re-priced which will have a positive impact," she said. Owing to this two-way pressure, the outlook of the margins is stable, Bhattacharya said. Deposits of the bank stood at Rs 20,44,751 crore while advances at Rs 16,27,273 crore. Retail constituted 22 per cent of the loan amount contributed by auto and home loans. Net interest margin (NIM) as of March 2017 stood at 2.84 per cent, she said. Bhattacharya said that the provision coverage ratio (PCR) had been increased from 60.69 per cent to 65.69 per cent to take care of the resolutions which would surface as a result of the merger. The impact on profit would not be much. The slippages were slowing down, she said adding that the telecom sector was now a cause for concern. Regarding the subsidiaries, she said that SBI Life IPO would come this fiscal, while its stake in SBI Cards would be raised.
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