NHB chief: Slowdown in housing loans in FY11 due to interest rate hike

R V Verma, chairman and managing director, National Housing Bank, says that after growing by about 25% each year over four years, loan demand was 16% in FY11. High property prices also an issue

Mumbai: National Housing Bank (NHB) chairman and managing director R V Verma has said there has been a slowdown in the growth of housing loans due to higher interest rates and rising property prices.

Traditionally, growth in housing finance loans has been about 25% each year, over the past four years, before the slowdown began, he said. “In FY11, the demand grew by about 16% to Rs62,000 crore, which points to a slowdown,” Mr Verma told journalists on the sidelines of the 26th Skoch Summit in Mumbai today.

Even in FY10, when the recovery process began, growth was at about 19%, he said, and he explained that rising interest rates coupled with a jump in property prices had dented loan demand, PTI reports.

In the four years prior to the 2008 crisis, the housing loan portfolio for housing finance companies grew by 25%. In 2009-10, it grew by 19% and in 2010-11 it grew by 16-17 per cent, Mr Verma said.

Warning that he was already getting reports of an inventory pile-up, Mr Verma said demand would go down further if rates were hiked.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised key interest rates by 50 basis points in May, to battle high inflation, its ninth rate hike since March 2010.

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Birla Pacific Medspa IPO opens on 20th June

Issue proceeds are proposed to be used for the capital expenditure towards establishing 55 outlets of Evolve Medspa across various cities

Birla Pacific Medspa is entering capital market with an initial public offering of Rs65.175 crore on 20th June. The price band for the issue has not been fixed yet.

Birla Pacific Medspa Ltd is an India based healthcare provider expertise in cosmetic dermatology, cosmetic & plastic surgery, general & specialist dentistry and maxillo facial prosthesis. Birla Pacific Medspa is a joint venture of Yash Birla Group and Pacific Healthcare.

Issue proceeds are proposed to be used for the capital expenditure towards establishing 55 outlets of Evolve Medspa across various cities and places, with cost of Rs49.50 crore; brand promotion with Rs6 crore; and working capital requirements of Rs70 lakh for running the above centres.

This issue has been assigned the “IPO Grade 2” indicating below average fundamentals by Brickworks Ratings India Pvt Ltd. The equity shares of the issue are proposed to be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Arihant Capital Markets Ltd is the book running lead manager to the issue, which will close on 23rd June.

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Beam mobile financial service making forays into villages

Subscribers not having bank account can purchase Beam pre-paid cards to load money in their beam subscriber account and perform a variety of transactions

Claimed to be first of its kind in the new age payment methodology, Beam mobile infrastructure, that provides a complete set of financial products on cell phone devices for banked and unbanked population, has reached 5 million customers in less than two years of launch.

After acquiring Reserve Bank of India’s certificate of authorisation in November 2009, Beam has made a major foray especially in rural areas.

Subscribers not having bank account can purchase Beam pre-paid cards to load money in their beam subscriber account and perform a variety of transactions. It is available in the denomination ranging from Rs1 to Rs10,000.

It has currently spread its business in 27,000 villages across the country, Anand Shrivastav, chairman & managing director of the Rs200 crore company, told PTI.

“We aim to cover the entire six lakh villages of India by the end of 2013,” he said adding the company hopes to enlist 25 million people for its services by that duration.

Giving details of the service, Shrivastav said Beam is a mobile payment system that reaches millions of unbanked Indians through the most convenient mobile platform.

It helps in mobile, DTH recharge, travel tickets booking, paying utility bills and movie tickets among others, he added.

Shrivastav said: “We plan to add services in insurance and micro-pension subject to approval from RBI and PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority).”

Catching up with the modernisation trend, Shrivastav said 60% of its customers are in the age group of 16-24 years. Besides, a large numbers of elderly people are also availing its services mainly for kirana (grocery) purposes. He said, Beam services can be availed via two modes of delivery, Tech Savvy subscribers and non savvy walk-in-customers.

Stating that the aim is to empower rural unemployed, Shrivastav said the company recruits ‘sahayaks’ who have at least secondary level of education besides working knowledge of English. “Presently we have appointed 10,000 sahayaks in 305 districts in 13 states,” Shrivastav said. “We aim to appoint one sahayak in each of the 6 lakh villages of the country by 2013 end,” he added.

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