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Fraud-hit Punjab National Bank in talks with I-T, excise departments to sell erstwhile headquarter in New Delhi

State-run Punjab National Bank said it is in negotiation with a few government departments, including income tax and central excise, to sell its erstwhile headquarters situated at the Bhikaji Cama Place in New Delhi.

Its managing director and chief executive officer, Sunil Mehta said the bank is going for the second round of valuation of the south Delhi property due to high demand.

"It (talks) is at the stage of negotiation. There are three government agencies that we are in discussion with. Now we are negotiating for better valuations because we are finding good interest in it," Mehta told reporters here.

He said the departments the bank is in negotiations with include income-tax and central excise.

PNB executive director L V Prabhakar said the first valuation of the property was done five to six months back but since then the property rates have gone up and the demand has also increased, and hence the bank is going for revaluation.

The lender expects to raise nearly Rs 700-800 crore from the sale of its earlier head office in the national capital, a bank official said.

The bank has set a target to garner Rs 8,600 crore from monetisation of its non-crore assets during FY19.

It had raised Rs 167 crore in the June quarter from the sale of offices and its investment in Icra, Crisil and BSE.

The bank has appointed merchant banker for selling its stake in PNB Housing Finance, according to Mehta.

PNB owns 32.79 percent stake in PNB Housing Finance, while Carlyle Group, through its investment vehicle Quality Investment Holdings, owns 32.36 percent of the paid up equity share capital.

The bank and Carlyle Group last month had announced to initiate the process to sell at least 51 percent stake in PNB Housing Finance.

Mehta said the bank will also dilute minority 4 percent stake in PNB Metlife Insurance as part of price discovery mechanism.

It is also looking to shut its four representative offices in Sydney, Dhaka, Dubai and Shanghai soon.

In the quarter ended June, the lender reported a net loss of Rs 940 crore due to higher provisioning for the multi-crore Nirav Modi scam and NPAs despite a recovery of Rs 8,445 crore of bad loans.

Its total provision in the quarter stood at Rs 5,135 crore. Of this, the provision for the Nirav Modi fraud was Rs 1,800 crore. It made a recovery of Rs 8,445 crore.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker from FirstPost.com

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