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Sunday, April 8, 2012

SBI to consider rate cut after RBI credit policy

State Bank of India has said that it will consider reducing the lending rates after the announcement of the Reserve Bank’s annual credit policy on April 17.

“Of course, we will look into reducing the interest rates in the future, but it will depend on the magnitude of the CRR cut (by the RBI),” the SBI Managing Director and Group Executive (National Banking), Mr A. Krishna Kumar, said at the sixth International Banking and Finance Conference here today.

“I expect the cut in the cash reserve ratio (CRR), but not sure about the repo rate,” he said while talking about expectations from the RBI’s annual credit policy which is scheduled to be unveiled on April 17.

CRR is the portion of deposit that banks are required to keep in cash with the Reserve Bank. At present, it is 4.75 per cent.

The SBI Chairman, Mr Pratip Chaudhuri, had earlier said that RBI might cut CRR by 0.75 per cent in its annual policy, but might retain the short-term lending rate at the existing level of 8.5 per cent.

“We have already reduced our interest rate on educational loan segment and we will also reduce the interest rate in the SME sector soon,” Mr Kumar said.

The reduction of interest rates in other segments, he said, “will largely depend on what the RBI does in its annual monetary policy to be announced on April 17”.

The state-owned lender is also targeting 20-25 per cent overall loan growth in almost all segments in the current fiscal.

“We target 20-25 per cent in the SME sector only and for overall growth of the bank, we aim at the same growth rate (20-25 per cent) during the fiscal as well,” Mr Kumar said.

On rising bad loans, he said: “we are also looking at a major improvement on the asset quality of the bank in the current fiscal”.


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