Commercial vehicles may put pressure on assets

Updated: Oct 26 2012, 06:20am hrs
Dipak Gupta, joint MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said KMBs asset quality may deteriorate slightly going forward as commercial vehicle and construction equipment segments show little signs of improvement. Gupta said it has gained by keeping the interest rate on savings accounts at 6%.

Are you slowing down on your commercial vehicle and construction equipment segments

The medium and heavy CV segments are not really doing well. We started slowing down on the commercial vehicle segment six months back because there was some level of deterioration in credit quality progressively. The construction equipment space has been seeing increased delinquencies for about for about 9 months. And that has lot to do with the stress in the infrastructure segment. Again construction equipment is a business where we have slowed down.

Do you think you can maintain KMBs asset quality at the current level

Our standalone net NPA stood at 1.61% at the end of the September quarter. But there is constant pressure on the commercial vehicle and construction equipment segment due to which the asset quality might take a hit going forward. Net NPAs should be below 2% for the financial year.

How do you think the banks current and saving accounts (CASA) will grow

CA is more difficult to predict but SA keeps on growing progressively. If you look at CA figure, you can see it was pretty high in the March quarter, after which it fell for the next two quarters before picking up again in October. Our CASA currently stands at 27.5% so we expect roughly a 1% jump by the end of the fiscal.

There is talk about Kotak Mahindra looking to buy banks in South India like Karnataka Bank...

These are rumours. We are not in talks to acquire any bank in South India. We are not looking to buy any bank right now.

Is there any possibility of interest rate on savings accounts to come down

I think we have to take that decision once we see the interest rate of other banks coming down. At this stage there is significant gain both in terms of customer acquisition as well as deposit appreciation because of the interest rate differential. But I think the view will not only be the interest rate view alone, it will also depend on the customer acquisition potential in the future. At the end of the day, the savings accounts customers that we acquire, are very sticky customers. It is not very easy to give up that opportunity. Our customer base has doubled since September last year when we started the 6% saving rate campaign.