Tiruchirapalli: Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman of SBI which heads the consortium of banks that provided loans to Kingfisher on Saturday remained non-committal on the next plans for the beleaguered airline.

He dismissed as mischievous as earlier reports of the bank having decided to provide over Rs 1,500 crore as assistance to cash-strapped Kingfisher.

"At length, I cannot discuss about a private company in public. However, we should consider Civil Aviation is an important thing in a growing country like us and for example all over the world there is a recession in the airline industry.

"We may consider all these things but we are not in a position to tell what we will be doing for Kingfisher," Chaudhuri told reporters here.

He said last week banks met and some of the lenders declined assistance to Kingfisher because they felt it was sub-standard.

Referring to examples of airlines across the world which have gone bankrupt, he said "at the same time there is a change in some parts of the world like Qatar Airways going strong and making lucrative offers."

On interest rates, he said it was upto RBI to take a call but felt that education loans were becoming costlier while home loan interest has remained lowest for over a decade

Talking about the overseas business, Chaudhuri said, it is almost 15 per cent of the total and growing year over year and the bank is expanding initiatives abroad.
As of now 175 overseas branches dotted across 75 locations and some more to be added this year which include Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, he said.

"Three or four branches in the USA, two or three branches in the UK, and Additional branches in Singapore besides 11 already hosted," he said, adding, "80-85 per cent of the business garnered from India diaspora and Indian corporates."