February 14, 2009 / 7:45 AM / 11 years ago

India property prices need to fall 20 pct or more - ICICI exec

ICICI Bank's Chief Executive Officer designate Chanda Kochhar speaks during a news conference in Mumbai in this December 19, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The incoming head of India’s largest private bank ICICI Bank said real estate prices needed to fall by 20 percent or more as the market corrects amid the economic slowdown, the Times of India reported on Saturday.

Prices need to fall by “maybe 15-20 percent, or maybe more”, Chanda Kochhar, who is set to become chief executive of the bank, was quoted as saying.

“Piecemeal corrections have already happened ... But they also need an adjustment in the paradigm.”

Kochhar said there was no pressure on the bank’s books from souring housing and auto loans.

“Maybe a little delayed, but there is no real increase in losses or non-performing assets,” she said according to the report. “But we have not only substantially tightened credit norms there, we have also budgeted for any losses that may arise there.”

She added interest rates and loans were expected to fall.

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