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SBI a proxy to economy; expect some resolution in Vodafone Idea, says chairman Dinesh Khara

State Bank of India chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara speaks with CNBC-TV18 a day after results on India's largest public-sector lender's performance, business prospects and asset quality, particularly on the bank's exposure to the beleaguered telco Vodafone Idea.

State Bank of India chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara on Thursday said that the country's largest state-owned lender is a proxy to the Indian economy, while also adding that he expects some resolution in Vodafone Idea.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18 a day after SBI's quarterly results, Khara said that the growth has seen a rebound after June and the public sector bank’s growth will depend on the pace of vaccinations in the country.
“Credit growth will be seen in line with economic growth,” Khara said adding the bank is assessing proposals worth Rs 3 lakh crore on the credit side.
“All activity in the economy has started rebounding post-June 15. We will look at loan growth of being 1 percent more than GDP growth. We expect the bank’s loan growth of 9 percent for FY22. Current capital can support the loan growth for FY22,” he said.
SBI on Wednesday reported a sharp 55.3 percent rise in net profit for the first quarter of the current fiscal at Rs 6,504 crore as compared to Rs 4,189.3 crore. The bank posted a net interest income (NII) of Rs 27,638 crore in Q1FY22, registering a growth of 3.7 percent from Rs 26,641.6 crore, YoY.
Domestic net interest margin (NIM) for Q1FY22 at 3.15 percent, declined by 9 bps YoY.
The bank's net profit was above the street expectations, as a CNBC-TV18 analysts' poll had estimated profit at Rs 6,374.5 crore for the quarter, while NII was 4.3 percent lower than the estimates.
On the exposure to Vodafone Idea, Khara expects some resolution for the company. Meanwhile, Khara said the bank should be in a position to take care of stress in the SME portfolio.
“Steps like ECLGS loans, taken by RBI and the government for the SME sector are positive,” Khara said.
The recent developments at Vodafone-Idea are a major concern for lenders including SBI, which has the highest Rs 11,000 crore exposure to the beleaguered telco even if the due amounts to just 0.43 percent of its total loan book.
Compared to SBI, the IDFC-First Bank faces an exposure of nearly 3 percent of its total book and for Yes Bank it comes to 2.4 percent of its loan book.
In a separate development meanwhile, Kumar Mangalam Birla has stepped down as the Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Chairman of Vodafone Idea Limited Board on August 4.
The Board has unanimously elected Himanshu Kapania, who is currently a Non-Executive Director and former MD of Idea cellular prior to the merger, as the Non-Executive Chairman.
Birla's moves come just days after CNBC-TV18 had reported about a letter written by him to the government expressing willingness to hand over his stake in Vodafone-Idea.