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What’s clear is that India’s NBFCs will be unable to maintain their 25-35 percent growth rates for personal, auto and home loans. (In a September 2018 cover story ‘Hook, Loan and Sinker’ Forbes India had questioned whether at 21 percent personal loans were rising too fast.) Rising interest rates would also mean that small and medium businesses would be unable to refinance their loans, possibly triggering defaults. Some expect these NBFCs to show a flat loan book this year. “It’s not as if the banks can’t offer these loans, but they are not half as nimble as these specialist financiers,” says Rajeev Thakkar, chief investment officer at PPFAS, a mutual fund. Already, companies have begun to price in tepid festive season sales as it is unclear if banks can pick up the slack. The recent festive season sales on Flipkart and Amazon were a washout for most fintech companies as they were unable to increase their lines of credit.
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