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As India has benefited from supportive government policies amid uncertainties in the global economy, top companies should show more "animal spirit", billionaire Uday Kotak said on Wednesday.

The country's richest banker said these companies should be investing much more than they are currently. “While interest rates were going up and there were many uncertainties for the global economy, India had benefited from supportive government policies and businesses needed to show more ‘animal spirit’," the chief executive of Kotak Mahindra Bank said at the Reuters NEXT conference.

Speaking about the right thing for Indian businesses to do now, he said, "Taking those investment calls and being bold at this point of time is the right thing for Indian businesses to do."

On gap between credit and deposit growth

Kotak, who is Asia's richest banker as per Forbes, believes the gap between credit and deposit growth will narrow in the next three to six months, but did not elaborate.

Across the country's banking sector, lending has been rising steadily – a sign of a new private investment cycle – in the world's fifth largest economy.

As of 4 November, credit extended by banks was 17% higher than a year earlier, although deposit growth has lagged, up a milder 8.25%, according to central bank data.

The billionaire also said it was critical for the government to follow through on plans to privatise most state-run companies. India currently has 12 state-owned banks.

Four to five banks, Kotak believes, should remain in the government sector while the remaining over time could become players with broader public or private ownership.

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