Kolkata– Bandhan Bank, which is set to launch its mega Initial Public Offering (IPO) next week, is hopeful of bringing down gross non-performing asset (NPA) ratio to below one per cent by the next fiscal, a top official said here on Friday.

“Our target is to bring down the gross NPA ratio to below 1 per cent. As on December 31, this fiscal (2017-18) gross NPA ratio was at 1.67 per cent. It is gradually coming down.

“We have already arrested the issue, and people are working on it. By the next fiscal, I see it is coming down to below one per cent,” the lender’s MD and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh told reporters.

At the end of 2015-16, the bank’s gross NPA as a percentage of total loans stood at 0.15 per cent.

“Our recovery is very good. In December quarter, there were no fresh slippages,” Ghosh said.

The lender, which began its operations as a universal bank in August 2015, saw a spike in bad loans in the first quarter this fiscal mainly due to an impact on repayment culture in three states — Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra — after announcements of farm loan waiver schemes by a few state governments.

The lender has set a final price band of Rs 370 to Rs 375 per share for its IPO and plans to sell over 11.92 crore shares. The lender, through this offer, could garner up to Rs 4,473 crore. (IANS)