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State Bank of India (SBI) posted quarterly results that indicated the nation's lenders may see a slower build-up of bad loans, but questions remain on how quickly and smoothly they can get rid of $146 billion of such debt that has already piled up. SBI, the nation's top lender with a share of more than fifth of the banking assets, reported on Friday a lower-than-expected profit, but its bad loan additions during the three months to end-September slowed sharply and pushed the overall bad-loan ratio down. Newly appointed SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar, who took over last month, said they used the cushion from the insurance stake sale to bolster provisions and improve the coverage ratio by 431 basis points in a quarter to 65.1 percent.
State Bank of India (SBI) will open more branches in Nepal and consider options to re-enter Vietnam under a three-year goal to grow its international operations to as much as 15 percent of total business, a senior executive said. India's top lender, with assets of more than $500 billion, was catapulted into the league of the top 50 global banks this year after it merged five subsidiary banks with itself. SBI, which is present in 35 countries but has more than half of its 206 offices in Asia, aims to increase the number of offices in neighbouring Nepal to 100 in the next one year from 88 currently to better tap a market it considers "under-penetrated" for banking, said Siddhartha Sengupta, a deputy managing director who leads the bank's international business.