CHENNAI: Despite its branches remaining closed during the lockdown period, Manappuram Finance Ltd has managed to disburse about Rs 300 crore worth gold loans during the period through digital channels.
According to the company’s managing director and chief executive officer VP Nandakumar, no new customers could be acquired during the lockdown period in April, “but the company managed to keep the momentum going, by relying solely on existing customers through digital channels to increase their borrowings against gold already pledged with us.” He added that with repayments and renewal of gold loan pledges, and the rising gold prices proved beneficial for the company.
Sources in the company said that Manappuram had disbursed over Rs 360 crore in March too; and despite the lockdown, it managed to continue the good show. Going by the market trend, the company expects an uptick in demand for gold loans and is prepared to deal with it. “During periods of economic stress, banks become risk averse and cut down on lending.
These days many NBFCs are faced with acute liquidity challenges and therefore, are in no position to pick up the slack.
That would leave gold loans as the fall-back option. Catering to any increased demand for gold loans will not be a problem for us as we are comfortable with liquidity, and our lenders quite supportive. Recently, we have raised $300 million through overseas borrowings and our domestic fund mobilisations through CPs and NCDs are proceeding without hitch,” said Nandakumar.