Millennium Post

Credit growth may improve in H2 on refinance, telco demand: SBI

Terming the "laggard" credit growth as a "worrying" trend, the economic research wing of country's largest lender SBI on Friday said refinance opportunities and spectrum payout by telcos after the September auction hold hope for the banks. 

"The worrying thing is that credit growth continues to be laggard," it said in a note, adding, there is some hope for an uptick in the second half of the fiscal. The slowdown is primarily due to a stagnation in projects, and the low-risk refinancing loans of completed infrastructure projects in sectors like power and roads will help push the credit growth.

It expects the industry's credit growth to come at 13-14 per cent for the fiscal. The telecom auctions scheduled in September will also result in some credit expansion opportunities for the lenders, the report said. Apart from this, the housing, cement and auto components sectors will show some increased appetite for credit, it said. Oil companies and non-bank lenders will also approach the banks for funds in the latter part of the fiscal, it said.

It can be noted that in the last fiscal, banking system's credit growth slipped to a multi-decade low of under 9 per cent, but bankers have been guiding toward a better year in the ongoing 2016-17. The fortnightly data on scheduled commercial banks' credit showed some recovery as of August 5 to 9.8 per cent from the low of 8.7 per cent on June 10.

Last week, SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya had said the bank may be looking at upwardly revising its FY17 credit growth target of 12 per cent as it forsees some increase in demand toward the latter part of the fiscal. The research department also came out with its yearly composite index for manufacturing activity in August, which showed an upward momentum at 52.7 indicating moderate growth, when compared with the benchmark level of 50. 
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