Loan growth to remain slow despite rate cuts
By Joseph Samson
Dec 26, 2008
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The largest home loan provider in the country, HDFC Bank reported a 28% growth in new loans for the half fiscal year ending on September. However the bank officials do not expect the same growth rate to continue for the remaining part of the year. Joint Managing Director of HDFC, Renu Sud Karnad said, "We hope developers take this opportunity to bring down the property rates which should lead to increase in sales."

Kotak Mahindra Bank's head of retail assets Kamlesh Rao also agree with the view of affordability of homes to be considered along with a fall in rates to clock a revival in demand. "The real estate fraternity should also cut prices by 25-30% if demand has to pick up. We expect out home loan demand to remain flat this year after a 15-20% rise last year," he said.

Not only the home loans and personal loans, even the auto loan segment is facing the similar problem. The growth rate in the segment has come down from a double digit in the last few years to dumps in this year. The dealers are in no way expecting a revival of demand in the industry.

N R Narayanan, head of car and commercial vehicle loans at ICICI Bank said, "The auto industry itself is seeing flat growth in sales. Though the first quarter saw a 12% sales growth in the industry, the later period has been slack."

Presently ICICI is offering vehicle loans at around 15% and when asked about a cut in the interest rate for such loans, Narayanan said: "Even if auto loan rates were to decrease, unless people decide to buy a vehicle, it doesn't really serve the purpose."


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