(Eds: Incorporating managing director’s quotes) New Delhi/Kolkata, Feb 8 (PTI) State-owned UCO Bank Friday reported a marginal drop in net loss at Rs 998.74 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2018, as bad loans and provisions ballooned.Also Read - Barbados to Remove Queen As Head of State and Welcome Its First President

The bank had posted a net loss of Rs 1,016.43 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal. Also Read - IPL 2022 Retention LIVE Updates: Most Franchises in Dilemma With D-Day Nearing

Despite the poor show, UCO bank is hoping to be back in black by the third quarter of 2019-20 and the journey of the turnaround could be visible as early as the March quarter of the current fiscal, the bank’s managing director & CEO A K Goel said. Also Read - IPL 2022 Retention LIVE Streaming: Where And Where to Watch Retention LIVE

Total income of the bank also came down to Rs 3,585.56 crore during October-December period of 2018-19, as against Rs 3,721.93 crore in same quarter of 2017-18, the bank said in a regulatory filing.

“We are the only bank now doing business for Iran that allows rupee denominated settlement and we are doing good business. The benefits of the same can be seen from Q4 of FY’19,” Goel said.

The Kolkata-headquartered lender witnessed worsening asset quality as the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) ballooned to 27.39 per cent of gross loans as on December 31, 2018, from 20.64 per cent in December 2017.

Sequentially also, NPAs were higher from 25.37 per cent by end of second quarter ended September of this fiscal.

In value terms, the gross NPAs or bad loans stood at Rs 31,121.79 crore as on December 31, 2018 as against Rs 25,382.40 crore a year-ago.

Net NPAs were 12.48 per cent by end of third quarter as against 10.90 per cent. Value-wise, the net NPAs were Rs 11,755.61 crore, lower than Rs 11,923.45 crore last year.

Thus, provisioning for bad loans during quarter ended December 2018 were hiked to Rs 2,243.85 crore as against Rs 1,682.40 crore a year earlier.

The non-performing loan provisioning coverage ratio is 69.49 per cent as on December 31, 2018, UCO Bank said.

Total slippages during the quarter under review was close to Rs 2,230 crore of which nearly Rs 1,000 crore was from its exposure to IL&FS account, Rs 800 crore to agri-loans and nearly Rs 150 crore in retail accounts.

Goel said that the PSU bank is expecting a recovery of Rs 1,500 crore in the current quarter from resolutions of just two cases referred to NCLT.

The bank had 168 cases amounting to Rs 23,169 crore under NCLT, of which 96 cases worth Rs 13,991 crore have been admitted so far.

The bank has already received Rs 1,757 crore as settlement towards three cases referred to NCLT.

UCO Bank is hopeful of coming out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) measure of Reserve Bank of India shortly but it would depend on factors like recovery and capital flow, Goel said.

The bank said in respect of select borrower accounts covered under the provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), it was required to make additional provision where provision as per Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms were lower than the provision required.

“Accordingly, the bank has made additional provision of Rs 242.60 crore in respect of select borrower accounts for the quarter ended December 2018,” it said.

The bank also suffered losses due to depreciation in investment, UCO Bank said.

The government during the third quarter of the current fiscal had infused Rs 3,076 crore in the bank that improved the capital adequacy ratio to 9.33 per cent in December 2018.

Stock of UCO Bank traded 3.60 per cent down at Rs 17.40 apiece on BSE.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.