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Union Bank of India's bad loans likely fell in Jan-Mar on better recovery: CMD Sarkar

New Delhi: State-run lender Union Bank of India's non-performing assets likely decreased further in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal ended on March 31, 2013 due to better recovery, the bank's Chairman and Managing Director Debabrata Sarkar told CNBC-TV18 on Wednesday.

"We are hopeful that the trend that we have set in the last two quarters (Jul-Sep and Oct-Dec) to decrease our non-performing assets (NPAs) not only in percentage terms but in absolute terms, we will be able to maintain the same trend in this quarter (Jan-Mar) too," he told the channel in an interview.

Union Bank of India's gross NPAs, or bad loans, fell to 3.36% of advances as on December 31, 2012 from 3.66% as on September 30, 2012.

The bank also maintains its loan growth target of 16-17% for the last financial year, Sarkar said, adding that demand from the industry is still sluggish.

He also said that its Asset-Liability Committee (ALCO) will meet shortly to see whether there is scope for the bank to cut its deposit rates.

Earlier this week, two state-run lenders Punjab National Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce reduced their deposit rates on select maturities.