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India : MUTHOOT FINANCE to foray into housing finance business, thanks to the NHB approval

July 8, 2014

National Housing Bank (NHB) has cleared Gold loan NBFC Muthoot Finance s proposal to enter into the housing finance business recently.

With this approval, the company hopes to launch operations by August-September this year.

Gold loan NBFCs are making efforts for the diversification of their business in the wake of apprehensions raised by the Reserve Bank of India regarding concentration risk.

Muthoot Finance has been planning to foray into the insurance and housing finance businesses. But the company is still to find foreign partners for its insurance business. For now, the firm wants to concentrate on housing finance space since it has secured nods from the NHB, which encourages housing finance institutions.

Interacting with media, the Executive Director of Muthoot Finance - K P Padmakumar revealed, We have started preparing the structure of the business and are hiring a few hands at the mid-management level. The operations are expected to be rolled out by August-September.

The company aims to be in the affordable housing business sector in order to leverage openings to support the housing requirements of the current customer base. The segment now comprises current players like HDFC, Diwan Housing, Sundaram BNP Paribas and LIC. Like Muthoot Finance, Manappuram Finance and Muthoot Fincorp are piercing into the segment as well.

Padmakumar has stated that home financing is like gold loans in terms of security, but they will walk carefully in the housing loan sector because asset disposals for the defaulting home loans customers are not easy.

The housing finance sector is also eagerly waiting for the Union budget to see some attractive proposals to get a fillip and has already demanded for increasing the tax deduction limit on the home loan repayments.

He added, This will give an impetus to the construction industry and in turn the housing finance sector.

The company has not yet settled the capital mobilisation strategy for the home finance business. But, it will continue to issue non-convertible debentures in every 45 days for its gold loan business space.

Padmakumar stated, As some of our gold bonds get matured, we need to give options for investors to stay invested. Now that issue of gold bonds or unlisted NCDs has become tougher, we will give them listed NCD option for investment.

Muthoot Finance, for the moment, hopes to hold the sluggish growth of its managed assets and aims to increase it by a 10 to 15% in the July-September quarter of FY2014-15.

Padmakumar added, We have lost some of our customers to commercial banks and cooperative banks during the period when there was loan-to-value restriction. We are trying to win them back by personally calling them up and meeting them. If gold prices too do not suffer any major fall, we will be able to achieve 10-15 per cent growth in AUM this quarter.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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