Companies & Sectors
S&P says asset quality of Indian banks may deteriorate further

According to the ratings agency, asset quality of Indian banks is likely to deteriorate due to the moderation in economic activity, high inflation, high interest rates, and rupee depreciation

 
New Delhi: Global rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) said bad loans of Indian banks may increase further due to sluggishness in the economy coupled with high interest rate regime, reports PTI.
 
Banks in the world's largest developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) could come under pressure over the next 12-24 months, S&P said in a report.
 
"We believe the asset quality of Indian banks is likely to deteriorate due to the moderation in economic activity, high inflation, high interest rates, and rupee depreciation," S&P credit analyst Geeta Chugh said.
 
She pointed out that small and midsize companies are particularly vulnerable. "Stress is also mounting on some highly leveraged large companies (in India)," she added.
 
An RBI working group recently suggested higher loan-loss provisions and ultimately ending forbearance on asset classification, and recognition of these stressed assets as non-performing.
 
The group has recommended increasing the provision requirements on restructured loans to 5%, from the current 2%.
 
NPAs in public sector banks which dominates the Indian banking industry stood at about 3.3% of the assets in 2011-12 against 2.3% a year ago.
 
The S&P report titled 'Government Support Should Enable BRIC Banks To Ward Off Economic Headwinds' further said that a slowdown in growth in China, Brazil, and particularly India could weaken the asset quality and earnings of banks in these countries.
 
However, it said the BRIC banks ties with governments may improve their credit profiles.
 
State ownership and control of a significant part of the banking industry in BRIC countries is a critical rating factor, it said.
 
"Such a link is integral to the economic model of these countries. We expect governments to step in to avoid any abrupt and unexpected deterioration in local banks' financial condition. Government ownership and economic development policies link the credit ratings on the largest BRIC banks to government creditworthiness," she added.
 
According to the report, whereas asset quality in Brazil, China, and India is weakening, problem assets in Russia are declining from the peak of the recession despite credit risk in Russia remaining very high.
 
The earnings of banks in China and Brazil could decline in 2012, but remain satisfactory. Returns in India and Russia in 2012 are likely to be at levels similar to 2011, it said.
 
The negative outlook on the banks in India (BBB-/Negative/A-3) reflects the negative outlook on the sovereign rating.
 

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Water pollution: Parliamentary panel to summon ministry officials

Despite 26 years of implementation of programmes to control pollution, water in major rivers is critically polluted as the subject is not restricted to one ministry  

 
New Delhi: Terming water pollution as a 'national crisis', a Parliamentary committee has decided to summon officials of at least six Indian central ministries to seek their views to find ways to check the problem, reports PTI.
 
"Since the subject of water is not restricted to only one ministry, we have decided to summon officials of Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture, Urban Development, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Sanitation and Drinking Water to find a multi-agency approach to deal with the situation," a member of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee said.
 
The decision to seek inputs of various ministries was taken following the deposition of top Environment Ministry officials before the PAC recently on the issue of 'water pollution in India' based on a recent CAG report.
 
The first-ever water pollution audit in India carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General had found several legislative, administrative and institutional lacunae in the way that the issue of water pollution is dealt with by state and Central governments.
 
The audit said despite 26 years of implementation of programmes to control pollution, water in major rivers is critically polluted.
 
The situation was particularly alarming in 14 major and 55 minor and several hundred water bodies as only 10 per cent of waste water generated from millions of litres of sewage, industrial and agricultural waste is treated before being discharged into water bodies.
 
Environment Secretary T Chatterjee had told the committee that the Ministry was working on a proposal to steeply hike the penalty which could be several times higher than the Rs10,000 prescribed in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
 
"...the Rs10,000 penalty is not adequate and there is a need to review the amount of fine to be imposed," the Environment Ministry had told the committee in a written submission before its officials deposed.
 

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No more tobacco or liquor companies on Goa industrial estates

Goa would not allow liquor and tobacco companies will no more be allowed to set up their plants in the industrial estate managed by state-run Industrial Development Corp

 
Panaji: In what can be termed as a positive start for anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaign, the Goa government has decided not to allow any more tobacco and liquor manufacturing firms in its industrial estates, reports PTI.
 
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar told the state legislative assembly last night that liquor and tobacco companies will no more be allowed to set up their plants in the industrial estate managed by state-run Industrial Development Corp (IDC).
 
Goa has 15-odd industrial estate with three more estates planned in state's rural areas.
 
Parrikar said the ban on any more tobacco and liquor industry is a part of the state government social responsibility initiatives.
 
The chief minister said if there is consensus amongst members of the House, the state government can even move for a moratorium on number of bars (liquor outlets) in the state.
 
He said that there is a bar for every 150 people in the state which is not a good sign.
 
Pointing out to the applications by widows and single women to avail benefit under Dayanand social security scheme, the chief minister said that 30,000 applications indicate that the situation is grave.
 
"There is a huge male mortality due to liquor consumption. The trend is very dangerous," he said.
 

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