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Hindujas plan world-class TV network in India

September 15, 2008 17:18 IST

Hindujas on Monday announced that they are starting a 'world-class' television and communication network in India.

Group Chairman S P Hinduja told a meeting of shareholders of IndusInd International Holdings Ltd in Dubai that the network would be set up by IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd, which is among the largest Cable TV companies in India with a customer base of 5.5 million households. IIHL has an indirect investment of about $385,000 in IMCL.

He also said that IndusInd Bank, another entity controlled by IIHL, was poised for a robust growth by leveraging its strong capital base.

The bank expects 40-45 per cent hike in advances during the current fiscal, against the average loan growth of 20 per cent by most other banks.

"IndusInd Bank is now poised for rapid growth as a significantly strengthened entity... (which) will overtake its peers in the next three years, as measured by the criteria of productivity, profitability and efficiency," Hinduja said.

"Its Capital Adequacy Ratio, a key indicator of stability, stands at a comfortable 11.91 per cent as on March 31, 2008, well above the regulatory minimum of nine per cent," he said. 

The ratio further improved to 13.16 per cent at the end of the April-June quarter of the current fiscal from 12.16 per cent in the first quarter of the previous fiscal.

While most new generation private sector banks launched in the early 90s have disappeared, IndusInd Bank has remained the sole survivor with its strong fundamentals, said Hinduja, the London-based business tycoon.

A 79 per cent jump in net interest income helped IndusInd Bank increase its profit after tax by a record 44.48 per cent to Rs 19.1 crore (Rs 191 million) in Q1

this fiscal.

IndusInd Bank was floated with $35 million capital pooled in from Non-Resident Indians in April 1994. Its net worth stood at USD 178.17 million as of March 31, this year.

"The objective is to further ramp up the bank's operations so that the value of your investment may continue to appreciate," Hinduja told shareholders.

At present, the bank has a network of 180 branches across 147 locations in India. Besides, it has representative offices here and in London.

"The IndusInd concept of establishing a global platform to mobilise the contributions of NRIs for investment in India was appreciated and approved by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, then finance minister," Hinduja recalled.

He noted that the Indian authorities 'open-heartedly provided all the support and clearances enabling the entity to commission its operations in a record period of 67 days.

"After a bright start, IndusInd Bank faced operating problems as a consequence of the downturn in several sectors of the economy - discouraging some of our shareholders in the process.

"However, IndusInd Bank was able to weather the storm successfully (like many of its peer-group entities), and has now emerged as a stronger and more stable entity to make its mark in the banking space," the NRI industrialist noted.

The bank now enjoys the highest rating on its debt instruments from the leading rating agencies in India - CRISIL, ICRA and Fitch and has consistently remained profitable every single year since its inception.

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