Top 1,000 Indian Companies Borrowed Rs. 1 Trillion Less In FY17

Mumbai: The record low bank credit growth of 5.1 per cent in FY17 was led by the top 1,000 listed corporates which saw their net loan outstanding decline by a whopping Rs. 1 trillion in the reporting year, said a report.

One-third of this massive contraction was led by just 10 companies, which cumulatively availed of Rs. 33,571 crore less in the year over the previous year, according to the report by SBI Research.

According to SBI chief economic adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh, who penned the report, this could either be perceived as lower debt utilisation levels or prepayment through internal accruals or through asset sale. Other reasons could be QIP or private equity participation.

The RBI data showed that bank credit inched up by a tad 5.1 per cent in the year to March 2017, which was the lowest since 1951 when it had grown by a paltry 1.8 per cent which could be attributed rise in bond issuance and cheaper non-bank fund sources coupled with overall credit aversion in the economy as well as non-investment by the private sector in capacity expansion.

However, taken as a whole, results of about 3,000 listed entities for FY17, there was an 8 per cent increase on a CAGR basis in loan funds outstanding over FY15.

The outstanding loan funds as of FY15 stood at Rs. 22.8 trillion, which increased to Rs. 26.5 trillion in FY17. This was Rs. 24.2 trillion in FY16.

However, many top notch corporates reported contraction in loan funds outstanding in FY17 over FY16.

Top 1,000 Indian Companies Borrowed Rs 1 Trillion Less In FY17: Report

“About 1,000 entities in aggregate (excluding banks & finance companies) reported decline in loan funds to the extent of Rs. 1 trillion crore,” said Ghosh.

Debt contraction can either be through repayments, equity conversion or restructuring he says adding “top ten entities saw a decline of about Rs. 33,000 crore.”

Some of the best known companies that have lowered loan funds include Gail India (-48 per cent), Piramal Enterprises (-37 per cent), National Fertilizers (-37 per cent), L&T (-24 per cent) Hindalco (-20 per cent) and Jet Airways (-22 per cent). Cumulatively, these companies alone borrowed Rs. 20,000 crore less, said the report.

From a sectoral point of view, this came in amidst a double digit annual growth in EBIDTA by most of the top 10 sectors depicting all round growth in top-line, midline and bottom-line.

About 1,000 entities (excluding banks & finance) saw a steep Rs. 1,00,710 crore decline in loan funds, while the top ten entities’ loan funds decline by Rs. 33,571 crore which is 33 percent of the aggregate reduction in loan funds for all.

Hinting at a continuation of the same deleveraging trend in the times to come, the report points to the Tata Group is identifying non-core businesses for divestment.

The group is in the process of selling drug discovery services company Advinus Therapeutics. Its fertiliser business may also be up for sale along with Tata Ceramics, Tata Business Support Services, Tata Asset Management and Tata AutoComp Systems.

Other reasons for lower lonn demand may come from operational and financial restructuring, repayments, equity conversion by lenders etc, said the report.


How To Lose Weight in 4 Weeks? Indian Weight Loss Diet Chart & Weight Loss Tips!

Elaborate Indian Diet Chart

Tried everything to lose weight but unsuccessful? How to lose weight quickly yet safely then you have come to the right place. We give you insights on what is keeping you fat, the ratio of exercise and diet control you need to have. Plus an expert recommended month long weight loss diet chart plan for Indians. Any weight loss diet chart plan for Indians must be crafted after:

  1. Careful consideration of the person’s diet and medical history.
  2. Note any food allergies, likes, and dislikes into account.
  3. Should take the food allergies, likes, and dislikes into account.
  4. Should not ask for severe measures like restricting a food group, avoiding certain foods among others.
  5. It should be able to include all the required nutrients so that the weight loss sustains for life.

Most of the weight loss diet plans provided online or by certain nutritionists look at curing the symptom and not treating the root cause of weight issues. Hence it is highly advised that you consult a trained professional on how to lose weight. Here is a start, you can consult one of Truweight’s nutritionist, absolutely FREE! Ask your doubts and get solutions.


14 Indian Pancakes (Desi Pancakes) We Are Sure You Would Love to Devour

Talk about pancakes, all you can think of those crepes loaded with rich, creamy sauces and syrups. Pancakes are thin, flat, round bread-like delights especially eaten during breakfast or evening as tea time snacks. Come to think of it, India has innumerable varieties of pancakes spread across different regions in the country. Considering our special love for them, we list some of the most exquisite Indian pancakes that you would hate to miss out on. Read on!

1. Besan ka Cheela

Besan ka Cheela or Besan Chilla is one of the most popular snacks in Northern India. It is a crispy, quick to make, nutritious, low calorie and protein rich snack made of besan or chickpea flour and mild spices. You can also make cheelas more nutritious by adding lots of seasonal vegetables and serve it with sweet chutney or any other accompaniment.

cheela 625Besan ka Cheela or Besan Chilla is one of the most popular snacks in Northern India​

2. Dosa

Dosa is a crispy and thin pancake from Southern India, made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram (urad dal) and is served hot with sambhar and coconut chutney. It is believed that dosa was originated from Udupi in Karnataka. The crispy pancake makes a popular treat everywhere across the country.

dosaDosa is a crispy and thin pancake from Southern India, made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram​

3. Uttapam

Uttapam or Uthappa is a dosa-like pancake from South India. It is made from the same dosa batter of urad dal and rice. Uttapam traditionally contains toppings like tomatoes, capsicum, chilies, onion and cabbage mix among others. It is generally eaten with coconut chutney.

uthappamUttapam or Uthappa is a dosa-like pancake from South India​ Photo Credit: facebook/ chitra’s food book

4. Appam

Appam is a white lacy pancake popularly revered in God’s own country Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and is made with fermented rice and coconut milk. It has a crisp side with an airy, soft on touch, fluffy centre and can be paired with vegetable stew or chicken stew. There are numerous variations of appam that include Kallappam, Palappam, Egg Hoppers, Honey Hoppers, Idiyappam, Achappam and Neyyappam.

appamAppam is a white lacy pancake popularly revered in God’s own country Kerala and Tamil Nadu​

5. Thalipeeth

Thalipeeeth is a very popular multi-grain pancake from Maharashtra made from roasted tapioca (sabudana), rajgira, coriander seeds, wheat, cumin seeds and rice along with spices to make it spicy. Usually topped with lots of desi ghee, it is served with pickles or even thick curd. Easy to prepare and healthy, this pancake will definitely leave you asking for more.

thalipeethThalipeeeth is a very popular multi-grain pancake from Maharashtra Photo Credit: Facebook/Vinod-Intelligent Cookware

6. Sarvapindi

Sarvapindi is one of the most popular snacks from Telangana. It is a crispy pancake made of rice flour and peanuts, and is traditionally cooked in copper utensils. It is a spicy pancake with a crispy top layer. It is prepared with rice flour, peanuts, ginger, onions, curry leaves, chilli powder and sesame seeds.

sarvapindiSarvapindi is the most popular breakfast meal in Telangana Photo Credit: Facebook/yummies for tummies

7. Malpua

If you thought there are barely any sweet Indian pancakes, think again. Malpua is a sweet pancake popularly devoured in most parts of the country. The origin of malpua is debatable; it makes a very popular and pious dish served in temples of Odisha. The batter of malpua is prepared differently in various regions. The one that is made in North India has maida, semolina, milk and yogurt. Some regions add mashed raw banana to make this dessert.

malpuaMalpua is a sweet pancake popularly devoured in most parts of the country

8. Pesarattu

Pesarattu or Mung Bean Dosa is a dosa-like crepe made with a batter of green gram (moong dal) and is a popular dish in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. It is typically served with ginger and tamarind chutney. Onions, chilies and ginger are added as toppings to enhance the taste.

pesarattu archana creditPesarattu or Mung Bean Dosa is a dosa-like crepe made with a batter of green gram

9. Meetha Pooda

Meetha Pooda is generally revered in Punjab and is made with wheat, sugar, fennel seeds and water. It is one of the easiest and quickest pancakes to make. Generally prepared during rainy days, Meetha Pooda is paired with Rice Kheer.

meetha poodaMeetha Pooda is generally revered in Punjab Photo Credit: Facebook/Simar Kaur

10. Pati-Shapta

Generally served during festivals like Makar Sankranti or Poush Sankranti, Pati Shapta is yet another dessert from Bengal. Because this day signifies the rice harvest, ladies prepare these pancakes stuffed with date palm and jaggery and further topped with grated coconut.

patishapta 620Pati Shapta is yet another dessert from Bengal

11. Ale-Bele or Alle Belle

Ale Bele is a simply delectable, soft and melt-in-the-mouth sweet Goan pancake. Served during tea time, this pancake is made with maida and egg, stuffed with shredded coconut and crushed Goan palm jaggery along with different condiments.

alle belleAle Bele is a simply delectable, soft and melt-in-the-mouth sweet Goan pancake Photo Credit: Facebook/BonGong

12. Pitha

Kholasapori Pitha is a type of rice pancake from the North Eastern region of India, especially Assam. It is revered during festivals like Bihu and is made with rice flour, onions, carrot and water cooked in mustard oil. Some of the varieties of pithas in Assam include Dhup Pitha, Muthiya Pitha, Kholasapori Pitha, Tora Pitha, Ghila Pitha and Bhapotdiya Pitha.

pithaPitha is pancake from the North Eastern region of India, especially Assam Photo Credit: Facebook/Sam Mahanta

13. Puranpoli

Puranpoli is a popular dish from Maharashtra and is also consumed in Gujarat. It is a sweet pancake filled with chana dal or split yellow gram, plain flour, jaggery or sugar, ghee and cardamom powder. It is also known as Bobbatlu or Bakshalu in Andhra Pradesh.

puran poli 625Puranpoli is a popular dish from Maharashtra and is also consumed in Gujarat

14. Pathiri

Pathiri is a traditional and authentic pancake from Malabar in Kerala. It is made with crushed rice shaped into white dough and baked on pans called Oadu. Once it is prepared, it is then soaked in coconut milk to keep soft and improve the flavour. Pathiri is a famous dish among Muslims in Kerala and is usually prepared and served with meat or fish.

pathiriPathiri is a traditional and authentic pancake from Malabar in Kerala Photo Credit: Facebook/Ammachiyude Adukkala

These delectable Indian pancakes are certainly mouthwatering. Do let us know if you have any other Indian pancakes to add to the list!

Charting the Indian banking sector’s future

The Indian banking sector is at a critical juncture in its evolution. It is now clear that the slump in credit growth and increase in stressed assets has affected the profitability of all banks, and threatens the very survival of some of them.

State-owned banks account for more than three-fourths of the stressed asset load, which is now far higher than their net worth. Provision levels are inadequate, as the banks hold only 28% of gross non-performing assets and restructured assets, as provisions. There is a $110 billion gap between the stressed assets in the system and the provisions made. Shifts in consumer preferences, combined with changes in technology and regulations, have created a perfect storm. The way out will depend to a large extent on the speed and direction of stakeholder reactions.

The core challenge is that many of the public sector banks (PSBs) are undifferentiated, sub-scale, and with limited capabilities to be full universal banks. About 80% of them own only 25% of the assets. They also operate in virtually every market segment with very limited sector or vertical-focused specialization. In fact, they focus on the same customer segments, offer similar products, and very often compete only on price. Some of this is because PSBs face challenges that impede them from competing effectively. They have to shoulder a disproportionate share of social and nation-building obligations. Policies on compensation and human resources reduce management autonomy, and inhibit their ability to attract and manage talent.

The recent bank consolidation debates often ignore the underlying challenges of India’s banking industry structure. While it is clear that an industry with over 20 undifferentiated, state-owned banks is not working, a country of India’s scale and diversity needs more and varied banks. The industry plays a fundamental role in the delivery of social schemes which are critical at this stage of India’s economic development.

Empirical evidence from bad-loan crises in other parts of the world suggests that resolution often coincides with a consolidation of the banks. To that extent, it is probably inevitable in India. However, our argument is that consolidation by itself is not enough. The perils of force-fitting state-owned institutions are well documented; a lasting solution will need to offer the banks more freedom with capital and talent. Targeting a robust “end-state” industry structure and thinking beyond consolidation, are necessary for this to happen. And even as consolidation happens, innovation from existing and new players need to be encouraged to serve the large and diverse needs of the country. If well executed, such a restructuring could catalyse a transformation of India’s banking sector.

State-owned banks account for more than three-fourths of the stressed asset load, which is now far higher than their net worth. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

PSB reform is a complex issue and there could be several paths to building a robust industry structure. One option could be to continue the status quo, where the 21 PSBs (after the merger of State Bank of India with its associates and Bharatiya Mahila Bank) operate as before, but with greater autonomy for their boards. This option will have limited impact on improving the stability and performance of the system. A far more effective but disruptive option, would be to create mega-PSBs by consolidating entities into three or four players. While this would enhance their performance, it would be extremely challenging to implement.

Given the ground realities, the target end-state of the industry could well be a hybrid approach, creating one or two global banks and two to three large national banks through mergers. This would ensure that India has three to five banks, each with sizeable global or national presence. These large banks would offer a full-range of commercial banking services to corporate, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), retail, mass banking and international customers. The remaining banks could continue under government ownership, but eschew lending to large corporates. They could specialize, with focus on select products or geographies, largely for retail and SME customers. Alternatively, they could shed their public ownership and chart a growth plan that best suits their expertise.

Identifying anchor banks for consolidation would be a logical first step to restructuring. The top three or four high-performing PSBs with sizeable scale (including international presence), better balance sheets, progressive management and global aspirations, could be the anchors. National-scale players could be anchored by PSBs with strong national or regional brands, a multi-state presence and stronger balance sheets than regional counterparts. Some regionally focused banks could be grown through mergers to bring them to national stature.

Restructuring of banks is a multi-year journey. Aligning the sequencing of the consolidation is essential for success. The first set of mergers could be initiated by global and national anchors. Each anchor could select one or more consolidation partner, based on expected benefits from the merger and the relative ease of implementation. How smoothly the mergers are implemented would depend largely on the capital requirement, level of digitization and technological-commonality among the banks. Banks could opt for a 12- to 18-month “smart merger”, prioritizing easier decisions, and stagger more complex ones. Selecting the right architecture is vital to the process. The choice of merger-architecture could well determine the speed of business and functional integration after the merger.

While consolidation is required to address the challenges, it is not a solution by itself. The merged entities will need more oxygen to survive and thrive. Capital infusion to address stressed assets challenges, building a motivated and capable leadership team to ensure successful integration, and forging strategic partnerships to build new capabilities are crucial for success. Many leading state-owned institutions have relied on partnerships with private institutions in the past (e.g. SBI Cards was launched through a joint venture between SBI and GE Capital). Bank consolidation could offer degrees of freedom to bring new capabilities.

Alongside the mergers, avenues for privatization need to be explored for at least a few PSBs. The Bank Investment Company (BIC) with a holding structure that provides greater autonomy to boards and reduces government shareholding to below 51% in select PSBs has been talked about earlier. Overall, rationalizing the PSB industry-structure is as essential as consolidation to make sure India’s banks are able to thrive in a tough environment.


Microsoft’s SwiftKey Extends Transliteration Support to Tamil, 7 More Indian Languages

Microsoft-owned SwiftKey unveiled its transliteration engine last year in November which allows users to seamlessly type in the Roman script, but write in Hindi and Gujarati, along with “Hinglish” and “Gujlish” – and of course English – all the while seamlessly switching between the languages. Now, at an event in New Delhi, the company has announced expansion of support for Indian users with new features and support for eight additional regional languages.

SwiftKey’s transliteration technology will be available for 70 million Tamil speakers across India, while support for Bengali, Kannada, Malayam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, and Telugu is now available in beta mode and will be released commercially later this year, Microsoft says. Thanks to transliteration, Tamil speakers will now be able to use SwiftKey to type in their native language by spelling words out phonetically in English. SwiftKey will throw corrections and next word predictions in both English and Tamil, allowing you to write in a mixture of Tamil and English, as you prefer.

It also supports multi-script typing which enables transliterated predictions to appear in multiple languages. So, for example, a multilingual Tamil speaker who uses Hindi and Tamil interchangeably, when he types the word namaskar, the prediction bar will show the word in English, Tamil, and Hindi simultaneously.

Microsoft’s SwiftKey Extends Transliteration Support to Tamil, 7 More Indian Languages

SwiftKey India’s Aarti Samani said in a statement, “Creating transliteration support for Tamil in particular has been a huge challenge for the business as the language contains a total of 247 characters – far too many to fit on a single screen. However, our mission at Swiftkey is to create technology that fits the needs of each user, rather than imposing restrictions and limitations on how they type and communicate, and we’ve been greatly encouraged by the feedback we’ve received to date from users across India. Our goal moving forward is to continue to innovate, expand our support and ultimately help more and more citizens express themselves through messaging.”

SwiftKey has also shared some insight on how Indians use emojis, and it claims that North Indians use the Face Blowing A Kiss emoji the most. Users in the South are more inclined to use the Party Popper emoji, while users in the East love the bikini emoji the most. In the West, people love the Bouquet emoji, and users in the Central region use the Rose emoji the most.

For those unaware, SwiftKey was acquired by Microsoft early last year, and it already offers keyboards in 22 Indian languages.