The week’s highlight across sectors ended with the Union Budget 2018 announcement on Thursday. Before that ICICI Bank, HDFC Ltd. announced their results.
HDFC chief Keki Mistry spoke about interest rate movement while ICICI Bank-led by Chanda Kochhar hopes for a better NPA situation.
Billionaire Ajay Piramal also spoke to Moneycontrol about the investments he is looking in the finance and other sectors.
Mounting NPAs, or non-performing assets, worth over Rs 8 lakh crore, and weak credit growth that fell to multi-decade low in the first half 2017 at sub-5 percent, are just about showing signs of recovery. However, bankers are still not convinced about the business on the ground.
In hopes of generating more jobs, MSMEs (micro, small and medium sector enterprises) got a major boost in the Union Budget 2018 in the form of a lower corporate tax of 25 percent and an allocation of Rs 3,794 crore for credit support, capital and interest subsidy, and innovations in the sector.
Incumbent FM Arun Jaitley has emerged as the Union finance minister with the second-longest budget speeches on average.
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In other news during the week, ICICI Bank posted its lowest profits in the last seven quarters. With improved recoveries and pick up in corporate loan demand, ICICI Bank hopes to see better growth prospects in the year ahead.
Interest rates ahead
Interest rates are likely to remain stable for the next 3-4 months and may see a slight increase as the government tries to maintain its fiscal deficit target of 3.2 percent, according to the chief of country’s largest housing finance company HDFC.
Helped by extraordinary gains from the HDFC life IPO and a surge in affordable housing loans, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) reported a net profit of Rs 5,670 crore for the quarter ended December 2017, an increase of 233 percent over the Rs 1,701 crore reported in the same period in FY17.
Piramal chases new investments
Piramal Group, one of India’s largest and diversified conglomerates, plans to look at newer products and ideas through innovative solutions as it continues to invest in assets in the businesses they operate in, in the financial services, realty, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, says Chairman Ajay Piramal.
The Group’s flagship company, Piramal Enterprises reported 21 percent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 490.47 crore for the quarter ending December 2017. The cash and cash equivalents of the firm stood at Rs 1,699 crore at the end of the quarter.[“Source-moneycontrol”]