HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh said the unpredictability of the virus remained the key challenge to the overall macroeconomic environment.

“The world is still susceptible to recurring waves of infections. Thus, economic recovery will remain uneven and patchy,” Mr. Parekh said addressing shareholders at the 44th AGM on Tuesday.

The veteran banker said owing to the second wave, the Indian economy would mirror a trend seen in FY21, wherein the second half of the financial year would be significantly stronger than the first.

“I remain confident that India’s macro economic fundamentals are strong and recovery is underway,” he said.

However, he said the key laggard remained the overall credit growth, which continued to remain tepid.

Mr. Parekh said the inherent demand for larger homes had gone up since the pandemic and the demand for home loans continued to remain strong.

“Even in terms of commercial real estate, most companies have not given up their office premises. With the e-commerce boom, demand for real estate is coming from warehousing and fulfilment centres,” he said.

Similarly, with the build-up of digital infrastructure, demand for data centres had increased. “These are segments of real estate sector that have potential to grow immensely,” he added.

He said in the backdrop of the pandemic, HDFC had been focusing on liquidity, growth and asset quality.

“HDFC has been maintaining higher levels of liquidity as a prudent measure,” Mr. Parekh said.

At the AGM, shareholders approved a resolution to increase the firm’s borrowing limits from ₹5,00,000 crore to ₹6,00,000 crore.

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