The credit growth in the MSME sector is improving with the overall exposure reaching the highest level in over a year and impacts of demonetisation and the GST also seem to be subsiding, says a study.
The overall credit exposure has shown the highest growth in last five quarters at Rs 54.20 lakh crore as on March 31, 2018, with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)segment constituting Rs 12.6 lakh crore (23 per cent) of the commercial credit outstanding, the 'MSME Pulse Quarterly Report' by TransUnion CIBIL-SIDBI showed today.
After the lows of September 2017, even large credit exposure of over Rs 100 crore has shown two consecutive quarters of recovery in credit growth. Micro credit of less than Rs 1 crore and SME of Rs 1-25 crore grew by 22 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, as of March-end this year, said the report.
The report said the quarterly additions to non-performing assets (NPAs) by the sector showed steepest rise during the second and third quarter of 2017-18.
"Data unambiguously shows that the MSME segment has clearly left behind the short-term impact of GST and demonetisation. They are firmly back on growth path with the segment having exposure below Rs 25 crore growing at 25 per cent. High growth in new credit shows positive impact of GST," SIDBI chairman and managing director Mohammad Mustafa said.
The rise in bad loans has moderated in the sector but it is too early to conclude that the problem is close to bottoming out, as also the future NPAs of these MSMEs may be driven by Rs 11,000 crore standard credit exposure but belongs to those companies who have at least one or more credit exposures as NPA by other bank or credit institution, it added.
Apart from this there is a system-wide exposure of Rs 1.20 lakh crore of those entities with CIBIL MSME Rank (CMR) of 7 to 10 -- associated with high risk.
"These high-risk exposures are expected to add Rs 16,000 crore in NPAs by March 2019. However, strong credit demand in this segment among other things driven by fomalisation of MSME segment is likely to keep the overall NPA rate in this segment in check," the report said.
RBI's dispensation to MSME which includes recognising NPA in 180 days as opposed to previous approach of tagging NPA in 90 days past due will bring relief to Rs 15,000 crore of exposure, Mustafa said.
The report also revealed that new private banks were most successful in tapping the MSME opportunity with banks increasing their lending from 27.5 per cent in March 2018 to 30.3 per cent as on March 2018. NBFCs increased their share to 10.9 per cent from 9.1 per cent earlier.
However, new private banks and NBFCs lending to these high-risk borrowers are largely offering asset-backed loans, while PSU banks are offering plain working capital and term loans even to this segment, it added.
As of March 2018, based on credit utilisation exposure, it appears that most MSMEs including the smallest ones have recovered from the impact of demonetisation and GST. The new-to-credit (NTC) borrowers continued to accelerate with 5 lakh NTCs estimated in first half of 2017-18 compared to 4 lakh in second half of 2016-17.
"In effect going forward, it may be expected that annually, at least a million NTC MSME borrowers would be seeking formal credit. Recent NTC portfolio study suggests that 60 per cent first time borrowers sustain or increase their credit, in the two-year period following their first formal loan," as per MSME Pulse Quarterly Report.
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