ICICI Bank ups ante on Indian govt securities

NEW DELHI, June 16: Top private sector lender ICICI Bank seems to be betting big on the Indian market when it comes to investments in government bonds, equity shares and other assets and securities.
Chanda Kochhar-led bank, which recorded a profit of nearly Rs 500 crore from its treasury operations in 2012-13, increased its investments in government securities in India by more than Rs 10,000 crore to well above Rs 1 lakh crore.
During the same fiscal, the bank’s investments in government securities outside India dropped by nearly Rs 2,000 crore to about Rs 4,800 crore.
ICICI Bank’s other investments outside India, including in equity shares, bonds and certificates of deposits, also came down in 2012-13, it has disclosed in its annual report for the fiscal.
But its investments in such securities and asset classes within India saw a significant spike during the year.
Overall, the bank’s total investments in India rose by about Rs 18,300 crore to close to Rs 2.46 lakh crore during the last fiscal.
On the other hand, its total overseas investments fell by about Rs 2,500 crore to little below Rs 9,600 crore.
This included an investment of Rs 4,800 crore in foreign government securities and a similar amount invested in equity shares, bonds and certificates of deposits outside India.
The bank said it recorded a profit of Rs 495 crore from treasury related activities in 2012-13, as against a loss of Rs 13 crore in the previous fiscal.
“Treasury income for fiscal 2013 primarily included gain on government securities and their fixed income positions, profit on security receipts and other gains, offset, in part, by mark-to-market losses on equity and preference share portfolio,” it added.
The treasury includes the entire investment portfolio of the bank.
ICICI Bank said its treasury operations are structured into three verticals — proprietary trading group, customer related markets business and the asset-liability management group.
“Our proprietary trading business saw an increase in trading activity and profits during fiscal 2013.
The Bank also continued to focus on opportunities in corporate bond markets,” it added. (PTI)


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