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Muthoot Finance aims to become financial supermarket

KOCHI: Kerala-based Muthoot Finance, which has applied for banking licence, is aiming for an image makeover to transform itself from being just a gold loan company to a financial supermarket. "Muthoot is the only company from Kerala which has applied for banking licence," Chairman M G George Muthoot told reporters here. The company, presently has a branch network of 4,229 and and employee strength of 25,684. It proposes to strengthen its money transfer and Insurance business in the coming days, he said, adding, it was handling two lakh money transfers a month. During the last six months, 11 lakh foreign inward remittances were disbursed for personal purposes amounting to Rs 2,500 crore through their branches. During the quarter, over Rs 25,000 crore were disbursed to over 60 lakh borrowers of which about 70 per cent were in semi-urban and rural areas, he said,releasing the second quarter results after the board meeting here. Muthoot has got license for insurance broking-- Life insurance and Health insurance. In the last three months, Muthoot has sold life cover. Over three lakh persons were brought under insurance cover in a span of three months with an average life cover of Rs one lakh. Muthoot has received RBI and FIPB approval for seting up of 9,000 white Label ATMs in the country during the current quarter which will be rolled out soon, he said. The company will be launching the second public issue of Non-Convertible Debentures for Rs 150 crore with a green shoe option of retaining another Rs 150 crore, he said, adding, two months ago the company had similarly raised Rs 300 crore. Executive Director, K Padmakumar said the average gold kept in the company in the first half of this year has gone up to 132 tonnes against 127 tonnes during the period last fiscal. Though the customer base has not eroded, profitability has decreased as asset base has decreased. The company was maintaining a higher standard asset provisioning of 0.35 per cent against regulatory requirement of 0.25 per cent. (This story was published in Economictimes : Dated 31-10-2013)

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