Domestic rating agency ICRA has said that banks gross Non-performing Assets (NPAs) could be nearing peak levels in the range of 8-8.5% by March 2017, as compared to 7.7% as on March 2016. It also added that, asset quality is not expected to improve substantially in near term.
In its latest report the agency stated that, credit growth is likely to be in the range of 11-12% in 2016-17, primarily driven by retail and other smaller ticket loans. Deposit growth will be in the range of 10-11% in the current fiscal. Besides, it also said that public sector banks' (PSBs) profitability is not expected to improve significantly in 2016-17, return on equity (RoE) will remain in single digits.
The report further said that, relaxations in Basel III norms in March 2016 improved state PSBs tier-1 capital by 30-100 basis points, despite relaxations, infusion of Rs 25,000 crore by the government and low credit growth, state-run banks' capitalisation remained low with aggregated tier 1 at around 9.1% as on March 2016. Also, PSBs will need Rs 40,000-50,000 crore tier 1 capital raising in this fiscal as against government capital infusion plan of Rs 25,000 crore.
ICRA also said that significant improvement in asset quality will hinge upon economic recovery in credit intensive sectors, as well as successful execution of deleveraging efforts by some stressed corporate groups. Further, sluggishness in deposit growth could be on account of psychological impact on depositors following a decline in nominal interest rates on deposits, significant raising of tax-free bonds over the last few years providing alternative safe savings avenue, increase in limit for remittances and banks reducing dependence on large ticket deposits on the back of muted credit growth.