Details of the achievements made and initiatives taken by your Bank during the year areprovided in the enclosed Annual Report. We have been fairly successful in spottingsustainable and profitable business opportunities and in responding promptly to ourcustomers thereby providing them a different and superior banking experience. The globaleconomic activity is gaining momentum with expansion of global trade with the gradualimprovement in global demand. Conditions for investment have generally improved amid lowfinancial volatility reduced banking sector fragilities recovery in commodity sectorsand a more solid global macroeconomic and political outlook. Financing costs generallyremain low and spreads have narrowed in many emerging markets reflecting an uptick inrisk appetite and consequent decline in risk premium. This has supported rising capitalflows to emerging markets including a rise in cross-border lending and stronger creditexpansion in both developed and developing economies. World GDP growth as estimated by theIMF (International Monetary Fund in April 2018) touched 3.8% in 2017 the fastest since2011. With financial conditions expected to remain supportive global growth is expectedto tick up to 3.9% both in 2018 and 2019. Emerging and developing Asia is expected to growat around 6.5% over 201819 broadly the same pace as in 2017. The region continuesto account for over half of world growth. India's macroeconomic fundamentals continued toimprove last year on the back of significant policy initiatives by the Governmentsupported by a stable monetary policy. After lagging for five consecutive quarterseconomic growth in India is turning around. India has emerged as the fastest growing majoreconomy in the world. India's GDP is estimated to have increased 6.7% in 2017-18 and isexpected to grow by 7.4% in 2018-19. Looking forward the economic growth is expected togather momentum.
Indian financial markets witnessed diverse trends across various segments. The moneymarket which witnessed excess liquidity in the first half of the year saw the liquidityturning to deficit by February 2018. On the bond market the 10-year G-sec yield rose by72 bps to 7.40% during the course of FY18. The equity markets which witnessed new highson the back of aggressive buying by domestic mutual funds and foreign portfolio investorsgave
4 way to bearish correction trend by February 2018 mainly on account of the UnionBudget proposal of Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) sharp increase in US bond yields theannouncement of protectionist tariffs by the US geopolitical developments andrevelations of large value frauds in some domestic banks. Over the course of FY18 theIndian Rupee weakened marginally by 0.5% and closed the year at Rs 65.18 vis-a-vis the USdollar. The implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) along with demonetisationand digitisation efforts will significantly assist in formalisation of the Indian economy.Focusing on the banking sector the coming year will test the effectiveness of the muchawaited Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Successful resolution of cases admitted inNational Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is crucial to the banking sector considering thelarge amount of stressed assets. Considering the sticky Non Performing Assets (NPA)menace the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) laid out conservative asset classification norms .Though the RBI norms will cause short-term pain to the banking industry in terms of sectorprofitability and capital adequacy the same would force banks to clean up their balancesheets. In addition to the NPA trouble the recently discovered large value frauds inbanks dented the image of Indian banks as flag bearers of financial prudence conservatismand judicious lending. During the year under review the Reserve Bank of India hasinitiated various measures to ensure that the system operational processes cybersecurity and risk management for the banking sector are sound safe and healthy.
Looking ahead the outlook for 2018-19 appears to be quite bright due to variousfactors such as: a) The demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Taxreforms pointed towards formalization of policies and process. These structural reformsaccelerate the transition of business and people from informal to formal economy. b) Theinherent economic growth on account of projected secular growth in consumption economy hasresulted in increased wealth and greater demand for goods and services making India afast growing market. c) The RBI's Vision 2018 document which envisages promotion ofelectronic payments and Government policies encouraging digital banking will increase theusage of digital banking services. The transactions executed through digital means provideease and convenience to customer and increased efficiency productivity and profitabilityto banks. d) The technological upgradation and adoption of new age technologies such asBlock Chain Artificial Intelligence etc. will help the banks with increased operationalefficiency productivity and profitability. e) The Financial inclusion roadmap provided bythe RBI to banks provides immense opportunity to tap the under banked rural masses. Duringthe year the Bank recorded a total gross business of Rs. 127139 crore- comprising totaldeposits of Rs. 72030 crore and gross advances of Rs. 55109 crore as on March 31 2018whereas the net profit of the bank decreased toRs. 334.89 crore as compared to Rs. 392.50crore in the preceding year. The Bank widened its network gainfully across India with 854Branches 55 Extension Counters and 1331 ATMs and 51 CDMs/CRMs. We remain committed toprovide outstanding services and quality experience to our customers in the coming yearsand will take various initiatives at strategic and operational level to enhance thesustainability of the same. We have been upgrading to cutting-edge technology platformsand continuously evolving our own digital channels. Bank's IT Vision is to enabletechnology as a strong strategic support to the Bank providing value in keyorganisational initiatives to achieve business goals offer excellent customer service andto ensure sound internal controls and regulatory compliance. Our robust risk managementsystems help us ensuring long-term sustainability and steady growth. We constantly worktowards achieving financial stability and enhancing stakeholders' value. This isaccomplished with our proactive and improved risk management policies and practices.
The management team led by the Managing Director & CEO has charted out a clear andsustained growth plan. The path is based on well-defined risk appetite and risk managementpolicies and practices optimal capital allocation framework and compliance. Retailbanking continues to be the core focus of the Bank to fulfill its 2020 Vision of becominga Retail Banking Power House'. Our quality of leadership talent is nurtured andwell-placed to execute the Bank's new growth strategies. I am confident that the comingyears will help the Bank to maintain and enhance its strengths and optimally tap thediverse growth opportunities that our country presents.
We thank you for your continued goodwill support and trust. We eagerly look forward toyour valuable suggestions as it helps us serve you better. Our capital base robustgrowth aspects wider network and leadership in technology position us very well toleverage the growth opportunities across the economy. I look forward to your continuedsupport in this journey. With the continued support and patronage of all
I am confident that your Bank wilzl reach greater heights during the coming years. Ihumbly thank all our shareholders for their continued faith in our strength andcapabilities members of the Board Government of India and Reserve Bank of India andother agencies for their valuable support and guidance customers for their continuedsupport and trust and our employees for their tireless efforts and hard work towardsrealising our ambitious goals.