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Q4 should be a better quarter: Kamath

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March 13, 2009 18:50 IST

Optimistic about India's growth story, Confederation of Indian Industries president K V Kamath said on Friday the current quarter would be better than the last one.

"About 70-75 per cent of the Indian economy seems to be doing better," Kamath, who is also the CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank [Get Quote], told private television channel CNBC TV18 during an interview.

To assume that this quarter would be worse than the last quarter would not be very reasonable, he added.

Contraction in agriculture and manufacturing have pulled down India's economic growth to 5.3 per cent in the third quarter, its lowest quarterly expansion in over five years, against 8.9 per cent in the same period a year ago.

The FMCG business continues to be doing well, Kamath said, adding, all knowledge businesses continue doing well. Anything to do with rural India continues to do well. Steel, cement, cars are coming back to normal.

"So clearly, . . .This quarter should be a better quarter," Kamath said.

However, he said there are sectors which continue to be in pain, like the textiles and others.

On interest rates, Kamath said each bank has right to price loan appropriately.

"We will lend at a rate which we think is appropriate, which gives us reasonable return and at the same time customers can leverage," Kamath said.

ICICI Bank joint managing director Chanda Kochhar said, "What is keeping us more cautious is the need to more proactively monitor where each company is. So, I think, that is what a banker needs to do currently.

"It's important for us as bankers today to understand where in terms of working capital cycle, in terms of capacity utilisations, in terms of profitability level each company is and work out a solution that will help the company tide over the current situation," she said.

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