Ekam Leasing Management Discussions


GLOBAL ECONOMIC REVIEW

Global economic activity is experiencing a broad-based and sharper than expected slowdown, with inflation higher than seen in several decades. The cost-of-living crisis, tightening financial conditions in most regions, Russias invasion of Ukraine, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic all weigh heavily on the outlook. Global growth is forecast to slow from 6.0 percent in 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022 and 2.7 percent in 2023. This is the weakest growth profile since 2001 except for the global financial crisis and the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The economic outlook depends on a successful calibration of monetary and fiscal policies, the course of the war in Ukraine, and growth prospects in China. Risks remain unusually large: monetary policy could miscalculate the right stance to reduce inflation; diverging policy paths in the largest economies could exacerbate the US dollars appreciation; tightening global financing could trigger emerging market debt distress; and a worsening of Chinas property sector crisis could undermine growth. Multilateral cooperation remains necessary to fast-track the green energy transition and prevent fragmentation.

The Global inflation is forecast to rise from 4.7 percent in 2021 to 8.8 percent in 2022 but to decline to 6.5 percent in 2023 and to 4.1 percent by 2024. Monetary policy should stay the course to restore price stability, and fiscal policy should aim to alleviate the cost-of-living pressures while maintaining a sufficiently tight stance aligned with monetary policy. Structural reforms can further support the fight against inflation by improving productivity and easing supply constraints, while multilateral cooperation is necessary for fast-tracking the green energy transition and preventing fragmentation.

INDIAN ECONOMIC REVIEW

The Strong economic growth in the first quarter of FY 2022-23 helped India overcome the UK to become the fifth-largest economy after it recovered from repeated waves of COVID-19 pandemic shock. Real GDP in the first quarter of 2022 23 is currently about 4% higher than its corresponding period of 2019-20, indicating a strong start for Indias recovery from the pandemic. Given the release of pent-up demand and the widespread vaccination coverage, the contact-intensive services sector will probably be the main driver of development in 2022 2023. Substantially increasing private consumption, supported by rising consumer sentiment, will support GDP growth in the coming months.

Indias economic condition during the first half of the current financial year highlighted the unwavering support the government gave to its capital expenditure, which reached Rs 4.1 lakh crores (US$ 49.53 billion) during April-October 2022 which is 61.5% higher than the corresponding period of last year. The resilient growth of the Indian economy in the first half of FY 2022-23 has been the fastest among major economies, thereby strengthening macroeconomic stability. India registered a broad-based expansion of 9.7% in the first half of FY 2022-23, supported by robust domestic demand and upbeat investment activity. As a result of the comeback in economic activity across all sectors, Indias overall employment situation has improved.

As we head into 2023, global economic developments are expected to complicate the outlook further, and therefore continued vigilance is a critical aspect in maintaining Indias external resilience. Going forward, India needs to focus on medium-term challenges such as securing technology and resources for energy transition and skilling its youth for the 21st century economy, while staying the course on fiscal consolidation. With continuous efforts during the last several years, a strong platform has been erected on which the superstructure of a middle-income economy can be constructed.

KEY GROWTH DRIVERS

The Non-Banking Financial Company gearing up for Growth as Assets under management (AUM) of NBFCS set to grow 12-13% on-year this fiscal and 13-14% next fiscal.

The Strong balance sheets with higher provisioning and lower leverage to support growth and asset quality concerns also receding with continued improvement in key metrics.

Cost of borrowings for NBFCs stated to rise amidst the rising interest rate scenario by 100-120 bps in fiscal 2023. Hence, NBFCs are realigning their strategy, with growth to be led by non-traditional segments.

Unsecured loans, used vehicles and MSME segments expected to propel growth.

While traditional segments will also post growth, it will be at a slower pace compared with pre-pandemic levels

The Reserve Bank of India liquidity measures during the pandemic has increased banks appetite for funding the segment. This along with higher accretion of public deposits aided by lower bank deposit rates has supported large housing financiers.

The industry has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic with moderate disruptions in collection efficiency and a build-up in asset quality, partially also led by the implementation of the circular on NPA classification. It believes the sector could grow at 13% YOY in FY23 (FY22: 11%) with gross stage 3 numbers increasing to 3.3% from 2.8% in 3Q FY22 (FY22: 2.9%), largely due to slippages from the restructured book (FY23: 1.7%; FY22: 2.1%). Additionally, 2% of AUM is supported by lending under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme which could also see slippages. The broad stage 3 number could rise by 70bp as it was seen in 3Q FY22, due to the change in NPA recognition norm.

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AN OUTLOOK:

The NBFCs would begin the year with sufficient capital buffers, stable margins and sizeable on-balance sheet provisioning, while adequate system liquidity would aid funding. Nevertheless, an expected increase in systemic interest rates and asset quality issues in some segments due to the lagged impact of pandemic would be a drag on the operating performance. The sector has been facing increased regulatory oversight and pushes towards convergence with banks through various measures such as scale-based regulation, realignment in asset quality classification and Prompt Corrective Action norm. The incremental impact of the notification on NPA recognition however will be moderate as the maximum impact has already been seen in 3Q FY22 figures and NBFCs are holding adequate provisions.

There are challenges facing the finance industry that we regularly hear about from firms around the globe i.e. Operational Risk Management. Quality Data for Better Investment Decisions, Data Integration, Reporting driven by regulatory augmentation, Data Quality at Granular Levels for Accurate Aggregation Scale/Expansion, Living with Spread sheets and Data Governance Framework.

Opportunities

These NBFCs have also been key in being able to mitigate and manage the spread of risks during times of financial duress and have increasingly become recognized as complementary services to banks. Ongoing stress in public sector banks (PSUs) because of increasing bad debt, lending in rural areas deterioration has provided NBFCs with the opportunity to increase presence. The success of these NBFCs vs. PSUs can be attributed to product lines, lower cost, wider and effective reach, strong risk management capabilities to check and control bad debts, and a better understanding of customer segments versus bank.

DETAILS OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGES:

There is no significant change vis-a-vis the previous financial year.

INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEMS AND ADEQUACY OF INTERNAL CONTROL:

The Company has instituted adequate internal control systems commensurate with the nature of its business and the size of its operations. This provides a high degree of assurance regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, the adequacy of safeguards for assets, the reliability of financial controls and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Moreover, the Company continuously upgrades these systems in line with the best available practices. The Board has an Audit Committee with independent directors in majority to maintain the objectivity.

Proper and adequate internal control systems are in place to ensure that all the business dealings are performed on sound business ethics and all assets are protected against loss of unauthorized use or disposition and that the transactions are authorized, recorded and properly reported. The internal control system is designed to ensure that financial and other records are reliable for all purposes.

Based on its evaluation, the Audit Committee has concluded that, as of March 31, 2023, our internal financial controls were adequate and operating effectively.

The Company regards its human resource as a valuable asset. The Company has a team driven work process with completely flat organization system. This not only helps us nurture leaders but also gives us capable and assured colleagues at all levels.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:

The Company follows principle of effective Corporate Governance. The endeavour of the Company is not only to comply with regulatory requirements but also to practice Corporate Governance principles that lay emphasis on integrity, transparency and overall accountability.

The Company adheres to most of the recommendations made by the SEBI and incorporated by the Stock Exchanges in the Standard Listing Agreement.

RISK AND CONCERNS:

Risk is integral part of the business operations. The Company is exposed to major risks namely credit risk, market risk, operational risk, liquidity risk and interest rate risk and has put in place measures, policies, systems, and procedures to manage and mitigate those risks.

Compliance

Our Compliance function monitors compliance with regulatory requirements laid down by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with respect to portfolio investments and alternative investment funds activities and other business activities. The Compliance function is an interface between us and various regulators and agencies, such as SEBI, the RBI, Companies Act, depositories, Registrar and stock exchanges.

Our compliance team keeps itself updated on new regulatory requirements and communicates the requirements to the relevant functions together with meaningful inputs for implementation. The Compliance team also reviews the implementation status by coordinating with the respective functions.