Mumbai: Private sector lender ICICI Bank will wait for signals from the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy statement before taking a call on its interest rates, a top bank official said.
The apex bank is scheduled to come out with its monetary policy for FY09 on 29 April.
“We will wait for the (RBI’s) policy statement before taking any decision on our interest rates,” ICICI Bank managing director & CEO, K V Kamath, told reporters on the sidelines of an Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) organized press conference here on 17 April.
Interest rate decisions would also be influenced by prevailing market conditions, Kamath said.
“As long as market conditions remain uncertain, a banker will remain conservative...we will continue to remain conservative on this issue (interest rates),” the ICICI chief said.
Asked what he expected from the Reserve Bank’s forthcoming monetary policy, Kamath said that he did not want to speculate.
According to him, the present industrial slowdown might impact economic growth, but the growth would still be healthy.
Some sectors like the automobile industry has witnessed a slowdown, but this (slowdown) is not across the board, he said.
“It is, however, premature to assess the slowdown now,” he said, adding that though growth might decline to around the 7.5% level, the overall trend was positive.
Admitting that inflation was a worry, Kamath said the focus of policy-makers would be to maintain economic growth while simultaneously containing inflation.
The policy makers will adopt fiscal, monetary and supply-side measures in a synchronised way to contain inflation, he said.
Asked when ICICI Securities would be listed, Kamath said that it would be done at the appropriate time.
“At present, there is no particular hurry (to list),” he said.
Earlier, in his speech at the conference, Kamath said there were huge opportunities for the banking sector in rural areas. “There’s a need to tap these opportunities,” he said.