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SBI cuts SME, agri loan rates by 50-350 bps

The public sector lender expects marginal impact on margins

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(SBI), the largest public sector lender in the country, for the agriculture and small & medium enterprise (SME) sectors by 50-350 basis points.

The new rates, effective from June 1, aimed at pushing credit offtake comes three days before the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) mid-quarter monetary policy review.

Santosh Nayar, deputy managing director and group head, corporate accounts, told reporters on Friday.

Adding: “The interest rate on retail loans such as personal, housing and car loans have been untouched.”

Keeping the base rates unchanged, the state-owned lender reviewed the rate structure by realigning spreads. Besides, the tenor premium on term loans has been reduced by 40-100 basis points.

“A separate interest rate structure is introduced for borrowers with cover (Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises) with limits up to Rs 1 crore in order to encourage SME borrowers to obtain guarantee cover and ensure enhanced credit flow to SME sector. Interest rates for borrowers under the agriculture segment are brought down by 75-350 basis points in view of the need for credit flow to sustain growth in this sector,” SBI said.

“The bank will see a marginal impact on margins, by 10-15 basis points. However, it would be able to maintain margins for the year at 3.75 per cent,” said A Krishna Kumar, MD and group executive (national banking).

Adding: “The cost of deposits have not come down as deposit rates are still at higher levels. We would take a call on both the base rate and deposit rate after the monetary policy review (by RBI) on Monday.”

During the first two months of the financial year, the bank saw additional loan growth of Rs 8,000 crore, and deposits grew by Rs 26,000 crore.

“Of these Rs 8,000-crore advances, Rs 2,500 crore were loans to large corporates, and retail sector advances were Rs 5,000 crore,” said Nayar.

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