As per the data, industrial credit fell to 28.9% by March 2021 from 42.7% at the end of March 2014.
“Over recent years, the share of the industrial sector in total bank credit has declined whereas that of personal loans has grown,” the Reserve Bank of India said in its Financial Stability Report.
The environment for bank credit remains lacklustre in the midst of the pandemic, with credit supply muted by persisting risk aversion and subdued loan demand and within this overall setting, underlying shifts are becoming more evident than before, it said.
Loans to the private corporate sector declined from 37.6% in 2014 to 27.7% at the end of March 2021. During the same period, personal loans grew from 16.2 to 26.3%, in which housing loans grew from 8.5% to 13.8%.
Bank credit growth to the industrial sector decelerated 0.8% year-to-date as of May 21, 2021, due to poor loan offtake from the corporate sector.
Growth in credit to the private corporate sector, however, declined for the sixth successive quarter in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal and its share in total credit stood at 28.3 per cent. RBI said the weighted average lending rate (WALR) on outstanding credit has moderated by 91 basis points during 2020-21, including a decline of 21 basis points in Q4.
Overall credit growth in India slowed down in FY21 to 5.6 per cent from 6.4 per cent in FY20 as the economy was hit hard by Covid. and subsequent lockdowns.
Credit growth to the industrial sector remained in the negative territory during 2020-21, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns. Industrial loan growth, on the other hand, remained negative during all quarters of 2020-21.”
The RBI further said working capital loans in the form of cash credit, overdraft and demand loans, which accounted for a third of total credit, contracted during 2020-21, indicating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Shift to bonds
The corporate world focused on deleveraging high-cost loans through fundraising via bond issuances despite interest rates at an all-time low. This has led to muted credit growth for banks.
Corporates raised Rs 2.1 lakh crore in December ended quarter and Rs 3.1 lakh crore in the fourth quarter from the corporate bond markets. In contrast, the corresponding year-ago figures were Rs 1.5 lakh crore and Rs 1.9 lakh crore, respectively.
Bonds were mostly raised by top-rated companies at 150-200 basis points below bank loans. Most of the debt was raised by government companies as they have top-rated status.
For AAA-rated corporate bonds, the yield was 6.85 per cent in May 2020, which fell to 5.38 per cent in April 2021 and to 5.16 per cent in May 2021.