Banks must feel comfortable while lending money to real estate: Keki Mistry, HDFC
Plenty liquidity is available in the system but there are issues related to risk aversion with banks, says Keki Mistry, Vice Chairman & CEO, Housing Development Finance Corporation, in a candid chat with Zee Business.
Plenty liquidity is available in the system but there are issues related to risk aversion with banks, says Keki Mistry, Vice Chairman & CEO, Housing Development Finance Corporation. In a candid chat with Dimpy Kalra, Zee Business, Mistry said the rate cut of 35bps will not have any impact on the real estate sector. Edited Excerpts:
Q: What is your reaction on RBI’s decision to cut repo rate by 35 basis points, which is first in a decade and more? Do you think that such a boost is sufficient under ongoing situation or there was a need for more cut maybe a half per cent?
A: I think, slashing it by an additional half a per cent would have been a difficult task and was not practical also. The market was expecting a rate cut of 25bps, but RBI has announced a rate cut of 35bps instead of the expected level. I think it is a good move.
Q: Do you think that RBI’s stance on NBFC where it wants banks to lend more fund to them in priority sector will have any impact on the sector? Are banks transmitting money to NBFC or not, if yes, is it an easy process?
A: Plenty liquidity is there in the system and there are no issues of liquidity right now. Such issues were present in the system 2-3 months back from here. However, there are issues related to risk aversion with the banks as they are not willing to lend.
Q: What is the importance of this 35bps rate cut for the real estate sector?
A: Rate cut of 35bps will not have any impact on the real estate sector. Something important is that the banks must feel comfortable while lending money to real estate. Interest rate cut or increase of a quarter per cent or 35bps will not have any major impact on real estate. However, funding cost will come down for some of the bigger NBFCs and it is not a problem, at present, but the problem is that the banks are hesitating and are not willing to lend money to real estate developers. That risk aversion should go away.
Q: Will you, HDFC, will pass on this rate cut of 35bps to its consumers and how it will be done?
A: I would like to inform that our cost doesn’t come down immediately when the Reserve Bank cuts its interest rates. But we will pass on the benefits as soon as liquidity is transmitted into the system and our cost comes down. We reduced our interest rate a week ago on all our existing loans.
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Q: Banks exposure to a single NBFC has been restricted near 15% but similar restrictions for other sectors have been increased to 25% from 20%. Do you think that the RBI under special circumstances can increase this exposure if it finds some room for the purpose?
A: Yes, it can increase bank exposure. But the issue was not on whether the banks can increase the exposure, but it was more in terms of risk awareness that the bank has to lend. The current, single party exposure limit increase is a very positive and good move, but they should have increased it at the group exposure that RBI has. At present, this group exposure limit stands at 25%.
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