Lenders will do everything possible to recover KFA dues: SBI

Lenders will do everything possible to recover KFA dues: SBI Mumbai: Lead lender to Kingfisher Airlines SBI Thursday said banks would do everything possible to recover their money.

"We will do whatever is appropriate in the best interest of the group of banks," State Bank of India (SBI) Managing Director, Mid-corporates, S Vishwanathan told reporters here.

He said every effort would be made at recovering the maximum amount "by all possible methods" which includes letting the company run again, winding up the company, sale of assets or sale of the company itself.

When asked whether the airline, which has been on a partial lockout since the past fortnight, can fly again, Vishwanathan, quipped "that is one of the alternatives."

SBI is the largest lender to the near-bankrupt airline with an NAP exposure of Rs 1,580 crore and the interest which has not been serviced since January.

Banks, which declared Kingfisher as a non-performing asset in January this year, gave a succour to the carrier in the face of the employee strike by agreeing to release around Rs 60 crore last week from an escrow account.

The banks have, however, flatly refused the airline's request for fresh loans and asked it to come up with a revival plan by end of October and the future strategies will depend on that, Vishwanathan said today.

Last week, the aviation regulator DGCA had slapped a show-cause notice to the otherwise flamboyant liquor baron Vijay Mallya-promoted airline threatening to revoke its flying licence due to continuing strike by its employees.

Vishwanathan, who was earlier heading SBI Caps, which was preparing turnaround plan for Kingfisher, was moved back to the bank as a deputy managing director and last week he was promoted as the managing director for mid-corporates at SBI.

Mallya, who is also the promoter chairman of the liquor giants United Spirits and Unit Breweries, is desperately trying to raise funds to save Kingfisher Airlines.

Kingfisher, which was till last year the No 2 airline, is down to the last slot in market share and has not posted profits since its launch in May 2005.

PTI