N. Kantha Kumar, executive director of the bank, said the bank, envisioned strengthening synergistic financial networks around the world, particularly the Middle East.
He said the bank already has a wide network of correspondent banking arrangements and has been constantly improving its international banking activities in the region.
In the UAE, Al Razouki International Exchange Company is managed by Canara Bank under secondment Agreement. It has eight branches in Abu Dhabi, Deira, Bur Dubai, Karama, Qusais. Jebel Ali, Sharjah, and Hor Al Anz. Besides, it has also special arrangement to issue US dollar denominated demand drafts on selected branches of the bank and rupee drawing arrangements with 19 other exchange houses in the region.
He said the bank, accounting for some 5.6 per cent of the total deposits in India, is handling nine per cent of the country's export and six per cent of import transactions.
Kumar said his bank performed well in terms of business growth, profits and profitability during 2002-03. Net profit shot up by 37.52 per cent to reach Rs10.19 billion, the highest among nationalised banks in India. Return on Assets rose to 1.24 per cent from 1.03 per cent as on March 2002. The bank's capital adequacy ratio stood higher at 12.50 per cent, well above the stipulated 9 per cent.
Kumar, on a brief visit to Dubai, said one of the landmark events for the bank during the last fiscal was its maiden public issue that received good response from the investor community.
The bank's joint venture with State Bank of India in Moscow is expected to be operational next month.
He said Canara Bank was way ahead in the application of IT advancements. At present, the bank has 1877 computerised branches, accounting for 77 per cent of its total branch network and 87.5 per cent of its aggregate business. With inter and intra city connectivity, Canara Bank has 279 ATMs spread over several locations all across the country and expected to go up to 500 ATMs. The bank's new products/services include debit card, group insurance schemes for its deposit clientele, cross selling of mutual fund products, group insurance schemes for housing loans clients and insurance coverage for housing properties.
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