Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI), the largest lender to Kingfisher Airlines, on Wednesday said the cash-strapped company would be viable if it got more equity.
"Fresh viability is there for everyone to see. If they (Kingfisher) get more equity, the company is viable," SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri told reporters in Mumbai in reply to a question.
He further said on the whole, aviation companies needed equity and fresh equity would improve their finances.
"However, these things don't happen overnight. There are protracted negotiations about price but the company (Kingfisher) is working hard on this. We are optimistic and expect equity to come," he said.
Chaudhuri further clarified that the bank had not sent any recall notice to Kingfisher asking them to repay loan, but added that its "loan is at default".
SBI has an exposure of Rs 1,408.45 crore to KFA. In March, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in Parliament that SBI currently had no plans to provide additional loan to Kingfisher Airlines.
Mukherjee also said that SBI, a leader of consortium of lenders to the carrier, has informed that the airlines' account is 'sub-standard' with eight public sector banks (PSBs) and 'standard' with five PSBs as on February 2012.
Kingfisher Airlines has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore and the financial crunch has hit its operations with dozens of flights being either cancelled or clubbed.