How is the bank’s current financial position?
The bank’s financial position is strong. Our total capital is NRS 2 billion. We have more than half of our capital in the reserve fund. We have NRs 44 deposit and we have invested nearly 43 billion. We have been giving investors 25-30 percent return. Bad debt ratio is also less than 5 percent. We are working to bring the amount of bad debts down.
What are your investment priorities?
We are focusing mainly on the industrial sector. We are also giving priority in building commercial complexes.
Aren’t you interested in Hydro power sector?
Yes, we are interested in the hydro power sector. However, it requires a huge investment; even if all the banks in Nepal invest in Hydro power, we can only produce 60 MW of electricity. Lone investment is not enough we need collective investment.
What are the specialties of Himalayan Bank?
We have a good credit rating. We are the biggest bank in terms of opening LC’s with international banks. We have customer centered deposit offers. But, the big thing is belief and trust and we have the trust of people.
What are the main challenges in banking sector?
The main challenge is obviously security. Now, no customer feels himself secure. We have no peace, no constitution. Government is not able to spend the development budget. So, in this scenario what can banking sector expect?
You are the president of Nepal Bankers' Association (NBA) as well, now the liquidity crisis has eased in banks but there have been rumors that investment has not increased likewise. What is the fact behind this?
Yes, the liquidity has certainly increased. Loan-deposit ratio is nearly 70 percent. This is a normal situation. To earn high profits, investments were made in real estate and it had effected the overall situation. Once, the 20 percent investment from the real state returns we can invest in more productive sectors.
Do you see any need of improvements in the regulation done by the Rastra Bank?
The role of Rastra Bank is satisfactory. They should make the merger process easy and simple and should reduce the taxes.
Do you see any improvements in the financial sector after the merger of financial institutions?
Merger is really important in the current scenario. The bigger the organization, the lesser will be the operating cost and the organization can provide better service.
Ashoke SJB Rana is the CEO of Himalayan Bank Ltd.