Kotak Mahindra Bank disappointed the market with its net profit falling 6% to R340 crore in Q3 FY14. Dipak Gupta, joint managing director at the private sector bank, explained that the bank has been slowing down portfolio in a few segments, such as commercial vehicles by 26%. Excerpts:
Net profit was down 6% this quarter. What is the reason for this?
We’ve been very cautious, the overall growth in advances was about 6%, since commercial equipment and commercial vehicle loans were down 26%. The second reason is the treasury losses. Since 50% of our book is in the HTM category, on a y-o-y basis, there is a change of R90-100 crore. And the third reason is the additional provisioning we’ve needed to do.
What kind of growth prospects are you looking at going forward. And how do you plan to tackle the NPA issues that have cropped up?
We are still seeing some stress on CE and CV loans, though at a lower level. Consumer lending is still looking good, so I think you’ll see some amount of growth there. Mid-market loans are still subdued and large corporate loans are okay. Various sub parts are growing at various stages but what you see is essentially is a summation of all of these.
And in NPAs, it should be better going forward now, because we’ve slowed down our business . That’s why the fresh flow of NPAs is much subdued.
When do you see a turnaround in the CE/CV portfolio?
Well you have to tell me when the overall market turns around. Unless that happens it’s tough to say. Ultimately, CVs are a sort of the bellwether for the overall economy. Once the overall economy picks up you’ll see CVs growing.
Where do you see your net interest margins (NIMs) going forward?
NIMs, as we’ve said, are healthy and we hope to maintain it at those levels. Basically, it is a choice between growing at any cost or growing at a certain return. Normally, we only choose to grow what is reasonably profitable. So there is a tendency to keep NIMs relatively consistent.