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ICICI CEO on bank's future plans

June 05, 2009 15:09 IST
Last Updated: June 05, 2009 19:53 IST

Foreseeing Indian economy back on a high-growth trajectory in the coming months, ICICI Bank [Get Quote] is looking at expanding its fund-generation profile and revenue streams to capitalise on the forthcoming opportunities.

"Looking ahead, we see favourable prospects for the Indian economy. . . India has weathered the global storm with a high degree of resilience and we expect the Indian economy to return to a robust growth path ahead of other economies that are experiencing recessionary conditions," ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar has said.

"As we prepare ourselves for the next phase of growth, we will work on further diversifying our funding profile and revenue streams," Kochhar said in her message to the country's largest private sector bank's shareholders in its annual report for 2008-09.

Since 2007, as the global and Indian economic environment has changed rapidly, the bank has focused on a conscious strategy of capital conservation, risk containment and efficiency improvement.

"We have healthy capital adequacy, sound liquidity and improved cost efficiencies," she added.

The bank's chairman K V Kamath also expressed confidence that 'the Indian economy's robust fundamentals and domestic growth drivers will impart it the resilience to emerge stronger from this period'.

"I believe the economic recovery, some signs of which are already visible, will gather momentum in the coming months and in due course see India returning to a high growth trajectory," he noted in his message to shareholders.

Kamath, who handed over the role of MD and CEO to Kochhar last month, further said, "The last year has been an exceptionally challenging year for the global economy and financial sector.

"India, while fundamentally in a much stronger position, has also experienced the impact of these events as they were transmitted through the trade and capital channels."

Kochhar said that the against the backdrop of an imminent recovery in Indian economy, "The ICICI Group sees before it a wide opportunity spectrum: increasing household incomes and consumption in both rural and urban India; significant industrial and infrastructure investment potential; and the vast Indian diaspora spanning the globe.

"We, as a multi specialist financial services group, are well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities. We will continue to participate in India's growth by meeting the financial services needs of the Indian economy."

The annual report also quoted ICICI Bank's executive director Sonjoy Chatterjee as saying, "Indian economy has strong fundamentals and will provide robust growth opportunities for industry."

"The Indian corporate sector has demonstrated its ability to withstand the global economic challenges and we will extend full support to the industry as it reorients strategies in this environment. We will focus on deepening our client relationships to enhance the diversity and resilience of our revenue streams," Chatterjee said.

Kamath further said that ICICI Bank was able to meet the challenge posed by the developments in global economy 'due to its strong capital position and the fundamental strengths of its franchise.'

"We have demonstrated our success over a long period of time. In fiscal 1985, we had a networth of Rs 1.75 billion, assets of about Rs 21 billion and profits of Rs 0.36 billion.

In fiscal 2009, we had a networth of about Rs 500 billion, assets of about Rs 3,800 billion and profits of Rs 37.58 billion. This represents over 20 per cent compounded annual growth over a 24-year period.

"Over the past few years, we have built a strong franchise in the Indian corporate and retail segments, the non-resident Indian segment, and the wider deposit market in certain countries. . .We believe that the strategy that we have followed and the franchise that we have built provide a strong foundation for our growth in the years to come," Kochhar said.

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