Friday, December 19, 2008

Fast growth is not the right approach now: ICICI chief

Chanda Kochhar was formally named as CEO-designate and the incoming head of India’s largest private bank, ICICI Bank Ltd. She will take over the job in May succeeding K.V. Kamath, who will become non-executive chairman. Edited excerpts

Are your NPAs growing?

In the current economic scenario, on the corporate side I still think that NPAs would not grow much because the corporate profits are still high and their debt levels are low.

On the retail side, as long as India does not face any large scale retrenchment – I don’t think that will happen – and the scenario continues to be what it is currently, we will not have any worry on mortgages and car loans. On unsecured loans and credit cards, we have already seen industrywide higher credit losses than what used to be prevalent a couple of years ago. I think we will have to learn to leave with the little higher level of credit losses of such loans.

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