ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Determinants of Recovery of Stressed Assets in India

There have been signs of stress in the balance sheets of banks in an environment of increasing uncertainties and a fragile global economy. Weakening loan recovery rates not only forces banks to face the burden of higher provisions and limits their lending capacity, it also diminishes their profitability and solvency. Examining the determinants of recovery of defaulted loans by banks in India, the need for a stronger and effective insolvency regime is felt so as to improve the debtor-creditor relationship and credit environment. The importance of the presence of collateral, the type of collateral used, and a conducive macroeconomic environment towards recovery of bad loans are highlighted. There is a need for strengthening banks' credit appraisal system. Access to alternative resources facilitates loan recovery, highlighting the need for further development of capital market as a source for adequate resources for borrowers.

Redefining the Debtor-Creditor Relationship

While the ordinance on non-performing assets of financial institutions is a landmark measure to restore the balance between lenders and borrowers and thus move towards better risk-sharing between them, the provisions of the ordinance must be seen as one of a whole gamut of means available for restructuring/settlement of the overdues of the financial system.

Non-Performing Loans of PSU Banks

The paper performs a panel regression on the definitionally uniform data now available for a five-year period ending in 1999-2000, on non-performing loans of commercial banks. The exercise is confined to 27 public sector banks, so as to investigate variations within a class that is homogeneous on the ownership dimension. The exercise groups banks with higher than average NPAs into those explained by poor operating efficiency, and those where the operating indicator does not suffice to explain the high level of NPAs, and leaves an unexplained intercept shift. Two of the three weak banks identified by the Varma Committee, Indian Bank and United Bank of India, fall in this category. Recapitalisation of these banks with operational restructuring may therefore not be the solution, since there is clearly a residual problem even after controlling for operating efficiency.

Downward Rigidity of Indian Interest Rates

This paper tries to assess why lowering interest rates is proving to be hard in India. It highlights the role of three factors, namely high public debt and the structure of this debt, the overhang of non-performing assets, and the policy being pursued with respect to accumulation of foreign exchange reserves. These three factors are causally linked to each other and should not be looked upon as mutually exclusive contributors.

Low Public Investment Impacts on Capital Market

The persisting low economic growth is having an impact on the financial sector: apart from the recent disquieting developments, the setback to funds mobilisation through public issues which began in the mid 1990s is contributing to a depressing scenario in the capital market and the secondary segment is in a worse state. This has shifted the impetus to the growth of bank deposit with no improvement however in household savings. The severe liquidity strain in the industrial sector has prompted the postponement of investment decisions by entrepreneurs. This is likely to sharply expand the size of non-performing assets of banks and financial institutions .
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