October 9, 2018 / 10:48 AM / a year ago

SBI ups target for loan portfolio purchase from NBFCs

A man walks past the signboard displayed at the State Bank of India main branch in Mumbai, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

(Reuters) - Top lender State Bank of India (SBI) said on Tuesday it is stepping up its target to buy “good quality” asset portfolios from non-banking financial companies (NBFC).

India’s NBFC sector has been in the spotlight after IL&FS, a major infrastructure financing and construction company, defaulted on a string of debt obligations in recent weeks triggering wider concerns about risks in the country’s financial sector.

SBI said it believes that there is a “good opportunity” to expand its loan portfolio at “attractive rates”.

“SBI today stepped up substantially a facility for purchasing a portfolio of assets from NBFCs to provide liquidity to NBFCs. This measure should alleviate liquidity concerns to a great extent,” Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said.

The lender said it now sees scope to buy additional portfolio assets of 200 billion to 300 billion rupees ($2.69 billion to $4.04 billion) this year. The bank had initially planned for growth of 150 billion rupees through portfolio purchases.

“This is going to be really beneficial for the NBFCs as they will get the liquidity they require, while SBI will get assets with high yields,” said an analyst with a domestic brokerage who did not wish to be named.

($1 = 74.2900 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens

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