Best performance in past three decades in Q4: Y Viswanatha Gowd, LIC Housing

Y Viswanatha Gowd, lenders, earnings, lic housing finance, provisioning

Q4 was the best as far as the company performance is concerned, said Y Viswanatha Gowd, MD & CEO,

LIC Housing Finance

to ET Now. If you look at the quarter-wise performance, Q4 of the last financial year was the best in the company in the past three decades. Edited excerpts:

The profit number missed estimates largely on account of the provisions. Firstly, what are the key highlights of the quarter and is there an outlook that you can provide us with for the provisioning?

If you look at the fourth quarter, figures for our company like the the revenue from operations, net interest income has gone up 33%. Then what you call portfolio also has gone up by 10% and loan book has increased. If you look at the provisioning made, when you talked about the dip in the profit, it was mainly because of what you call provisioning which was to be made on the higher side because earlier quarters of the last financial year the Supreme Court order was there. We could not actually classify them as non standard. That continued after the last quarter.

In the last quarter fag end of March when we had to recognise them all after the lifting of the order of the Supreme Court, we have considered all of them as standard and nonperforming. At that time the provisioning was done. Nearly Rs 978 crore of provisioning was made in Q4.

How were the disbursements in the quarter gone by? How was the growth momentum in your individual home loan segment? Could you talk about any uptick that you are seeing in the average ticket size?

If you look at the quarter-wise performance, Q4 of the last financial year was the best in the company in the past three decades. So, the Q4 showed 97% in our growth. As for the individual housing segment, disbursements were around Rs 22,362 crore. And then even in the overall segment, home loans also saw good growth. So, Q4 was the best as far as the company performance is concerned.

You have seen a rise in the nonperforming assets on a sequential basis. What are the trends that you are seeing? Are you seeing the possibility of higher delinquencies going forward?

Where NPAs are concerned, last year moratorium was there for some time then afterwards OTR was also enabled. With all these things what happened was we had to make provisioning in the last quarter, as I mentioned. But now, in the current year going forward also what happened is OTR-2. We have enabled for all the eligible customers, so that also we will have to consider in Q1 and Q2 in the days to come.

As far as the outlook is concerned in the coming times, though last year was a very good experience in this field, I think the uncertainty is still not totally ruled out. But still, we feel that it is not that serious a thing to worry about. Almost all provisioning is made on a comfortable basis. We even made Covid provisioning around Rs 500 crore. Further, there will not be too much downside as far as the NPAs are concerned.

If you look at housing finance companies, they continue to remain in focus. How are you assessing the current macro situation? What are the key growth triggers for the industry as a whole?

As far as the last year or so is concerned, after Q2 we had seen a good rebound in the businesses volumes and in all the areas of operations across the regions. This year also the unlocking is going on. Once the situations improves, we see that the same rebound will take place; number one. Number two, there will be good demand for the houses because once again the rates are very low at the rate of 6.9% offered by us.

What is the transition that you are making towards digitisation? How has lending and collection been digitally and what percentage of your business is now conducted through digital means?

Yes, correct. Last year we embarked on what you call a digital journey through launch of our HOMY app. We got more than 1 million downloads for the last year by end of March itself and then nearly to the tune of more than Rs 2,000 crore was underwritten through this our HOMY app. This year certainly there will be a good push and we are going to start something almost like a home delivery. We look forward to our HOMY app. We will deliver the home loan products at home and make it totally tech enabled.

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