SBI begins to look bullish at credit growth

Mumbai: State Bank chief Arundhati Bhattacharya today said the nation's largest lender is likely to upwardly revise its credit growth target for the current financial year beyond the budgeted 12 per cent.

"We are already growing at very close to 12 per cent. This is the slow quarter. So that being the case, we may revise the credit growth projections sometime in the middle of the year," Bhattacharya told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Fibac here.

"...if the revision comes, it should be upward," she specified, when asked about the direction of the review.

In the June quarter, SBI's advances rose 11.41 per cent to Rs 14,63,690 crore from Rs 13,13,735 crore. The bank had set a loan growth target of 12 per cent for this fiscal primarily led by retail loans which jumped 23 per cent.

It can be noted that banks closed the past fiscal year with credit growth at around 9 per cent which was a near six-decade low as cash-strapped and over-leveraged corporates moved away from bank funds in general and moving to money markets for even working capital loans.