Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
I wonder how any bank with a brand like Yes or Kotak can today crack open the expat market which has a few relatively unknown niche players ( Geojit, recently acquired by HSBC) It would need key leadership experience to realise a valid entry point. One option however, at the barest minimum requirement, is to go for a PSB or a local bank in UK and Australia or the Middle east. That requires capital but any other option leaves you with a performance like ICICI Bank which has managed only rep offices in all its overseas expansion and have not been able to generate the required trust without a retail presence on the ground, leaving the field seemingly open for players like ING and HSBC. They do have some presence now in London.
Regulatory level liaison with developed markets would sadly continue to maintain the respectable disconnect that exists as emerging markets can barely acknowledge their requirements of the day as they are seamlessly extended to the rest of the world. It remains to be seen if that home brewn recipe of the Basel and BoE would ever land in some drifting current and be taken care of. A way must be found for India to spare the cash and show their value in the developed world and invest in these international markets before much more will come out to bear on market shares of all the players. This is not to belittle current efforts from either side but I didn’t see it on the agenda in these last few years at work. It is never too late to start?
All the PSB scrips remains a good buy in Indian exchanges and I look forward to even more QIP issuance from YES Bank. But sooner than later the investing denizens will realize our SME status in the global market and unlike China, here Private Enterprise is free to make its own market rules, which is not something we have made good use of till now.
The other priority and now a key priority is of course our spreading into the hinterland as we strengthen distribution and support the microcredit revolution and the farmers. This spread would require immediate action by the banks as the government has al but given the keys to the treasury for the banks to lend and spend and while Corporate credit may be lukewarm, the hinterland beckons.
Last but not the least, the banks are key to the Indian consumer treasure now that it is all about lifestyle and disposable spending. While unsecured credit would not be remunerative, as we cannot go beyond the current systemized and sometimes too painfully detailed back office ops required to support the credit.
As a banker I probably wonder why the boom did not last, but then nothing lasts forever and as far as emerging markets are concerned , it remains a s good as it gets as Class B towns and Metros keep growing incessantly and people continue to spend on retail, lifestyle and entertainment. Infrastructure financing will attract the big bucks and the retail lifestyle spending will grow as fast as ever within the next 12 months, the magic being in access and prompt delivery by the banks.
Predictions: Interest rates are headed lower and Treasuries are going to be fatter and richer but still incomparable to the riches in the global markets