Mumbai: ICICI Bank Sunday said it will have a strong showing in car, home and corporate loans business in the current fiscal, but its relatively lower exposure to personal and other small-ticket loans could limit the overall balance-sheet growth to below 20% in the year.
Stating that the last fiscal was bad, when its profit fell by about 10% and it also faced rumours of a run-on the bank, ICICI Bank’s CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar said that bad times were behind it.
Anticipating a growth rate of 24-25% in focussed business areas like housing, corporate and car loans, Kochhar said that the overall growth in its balance sheet could, however, be below 20% in the current fiscal as the full impact of shift in focus areas would not be visible.
Confident about a robust growth cycle ahead for the bank, Kochhar said, “We clearly see change of scenario. The pressure that were on us, specifically during October-November period, I think that period is behind us and we are seeing the confidence of depositors coming back.
“Deposits are growing, new customers are opening accounts, existing customers are putting back their deposits,” she said.
Asked by when ICICI Bank would regain the position of largest retail lender from PSU giant SBI, Kochhar said: “I am not here really to run a race. I am here to stay on course that I have charted out in the beginning of the year.”
”But, anyway, we have been large lender and our book is very big. What we are looking at is how to optimise on the deposit structure and asset structure of our book first, rather than running a race ... I’m absolutely okay with strategy that we are following,“ Kochhar added.
Elaborating on the bank’s focus areas, Kochhar said: “I am going to be an important player in home loan. I want to be very important player in infrastructure financing and in car loans, but one-year numbers here or there would not make any difference. I’m confident that we are going to be important players in all the 3-4 businesses that I’m taking about.”
Kochhar said that the entire banking sector was estimated to grow by 24-25% in the current fiscal, although ICICI Bank itself might not be able to outperform the sector in total terms as some of its businesses would be see that high rate.
Asked if the bank’s balance sheet could grow by about 20%, Kochhar said, “For this year, it could be even lower. The kind of growth we are talking about in our businesses is yet to come.
“Besides, in the current fiscal, only about half a year was left, and therefore, the average growth for the full year would be lower.”