India’s SBI aims to keep net bad debt ratio below 1%

MUMBAI, Nov 23 (Reuters) – State Bank of India (SBI.NS)the country’s largest lender, plans to maintain its current pace of credit growth while aiming to keep its net non-performing asset ratio below 1%, its leader said on Wednesday.

After announcing results for the June-September quarter earlier this month, the bank said it expects credit growth of 14% to 16% for the current fiscal year as it steps up its efforts to attract deposits.

According to the latest central bank data, as of November 4, Indian banks recorded overall credit growth of around 17%, while deposit growth stood at 8.25%.

“As long as the risk is understood and properly assessed, there is no challenge (to sustaining loan growth),” SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara told reporters.

“This time the growth comes at a time when companies are deleveraging. It also gives us confidence that the path we are on is sustainable.”

SBI has a term loan portfolio of 2.5 trillion rupees ($30.6 billion) and expects demand from all sectors, Khara said.

The lender’s net non-performing assets (NPA) ratio fell to 0.8% in the June-September quarter.

Khara said the bank hopes to further reduce bad loans and keep the ratio below 1% in the future.

($1 = 81.7600 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nupur Anand, writing by Sudipto Ganguly; edited by Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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