Healthcare’s booming & banks are going all out to finance It

With demand for healthcare financing increasing amid Covid-19, banks are earmarking a specific corpus for financing health equipment, diagnostic centres and specialty hospitals, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 towns. Looking at the low penetration levels in this segment, banks are offering more attractive pricing as compared to non-banks to grab market share.

While

has formed a separate team to focus exclusively on this segment,

(BoB) has brought in a co-lending partner to bring in sourcing expertise.

is increasing such loans organically with its offering, Sanjivani Express.

“We are bullish on medical equipment and have set up a separate vertical for this within the small business banking team,” said Sumit Bali, head-retail, Axis Bank. “We see a lot of potential for this segment. It requires special focus so that we can scale it up and bring more depth.”

Axis Bank is aiming to disburse such loans amounting to ₹1,000-1,200 crore this year.

Public sector lender Bank of Baroda is aiming to book ₹500 crore of medical equipment loans in the next six months. It recently entered into a co-lending arrangement with non-bank lender Clix Capital, which has financed more than 5,000 medical professionals in the past five years.

“Healthcare India is grossly under-penetrated and is booming,” said Dhrubashish Bhattacharya, head – MSME business, Bank of Baroda. “Healthcare equipment has the lowest NPA (non-performing assets) level because these consumers have good credit scores, good understanding of the business, and it’s a cash-rich industry. We have a healthcare financing product within the bank but currently we are growing the book through a co-lending arrangement to gain expertise and test waters.”

Bank of Baroda is offering loans up to ₹5 crore at an interest rate ranging from 9-12%. These loans are generally sanctioned at a fixed rate of interest for tenures ranging from three to five years.

The total size of the healthcare equipment financing segment is estimated to be about ₹30,000 crore and it is growing at a rapid pace.

“We have launched an offering called Sanjivani Express. We aim to grow this book on an organic basis by offering concessional interest rates,” said Suresh Khatanhar, deputy managing director, IDBI Bank. “It’s already receiving good demand from the doctor fraternity and medical equipment centres.”

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