(Bloomberg) -- India’s banking system is stable, strong and resilient, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das reiterated on Wednesday, replying to questions on the impact of the Adani Group’s rout at a policy rate briefing.
“The strength, the size and the resilience of the Indian banking system” will ensure that it won’t be “affected by an individual incident or a case like this,” Das said when asked about the status of the nation’s lenders after Adani.
Deputy Governor Mahesh Kumar Jain chimed in during the briefing and said exposure of domestic banks to the Adani Group isn’t significant. “Exposure against shares is insignificant,” Jain clarified further.
The rout in Adani Group’s shares has cost India its place among the world’s five biggest stock markets, while the rupee is the worst-performing emerging Asian currency this year. Foreigners have pulled out $3.9 billion from the nation’s equities in 2023.
Adani’s $108 Billion Crisis Shakes Investors’ Faith in India
The “whole perception is coming because of the market capitalization of the shares of the group,” Governor Das said, adding that when banks lend money to a company or a group of companies, they do so on the basis of the strength and the fundamentals of the borrower along with cash flows, among others.
Last week, RBI said Indian banks were in compliance with rules, including on their the loan exposure to large companies. It didn’t name Adani Group, which has received billions of rupees in credit from several public and private lenders.
State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda each said they have less than 1% of exposure to Adani companies in their loan books. The loans are backed by cash-generating assets and so far, the Adani Group has honored all repayments, the lenders said separately.
Governor Das was initially reluctant to address the Adani issue. “I have nothing more to add to that. Individual cases and their numbers, we do not discuss in the public domain,” he said during the early part of the briefing that followed the central bank’s 25-basis-point rate hike.
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--With assistance from Vrishti Beniwal and Ronojoy Mazumdar.
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