Non-banking finance company Religare Finvest plans to increase its loan portfolio to Rs 14,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal, betting big on the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.

“We plan to increase our loan book by 40 per cent by the end of this fiscal. At the end of the June quarter, our loan portfolio stood at Rs 9,900 crore,” Religare Finvest Chief Executive Kavi Arora told PTI.

Religare Finvest, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Religare Enterprises, is registered with the RBI as an NBFC and has a presence in 48 cities.

The bulk of the company’s loan portfolio comprises secured loans, including mortgage lending and commercial vehicle and construction equipment loans.

Mr. Arora said Religare Finvest will now focus on extending working capital loans to small and medium enterprises.

According to a study, the contribution of SMEs to the country’s GDP is expected to rise to up to 22 per cent by 2012.

“The SME sector presents a significant opportunity for growth. With the economic expansion, the sector’s output will also increase,” Mr. Arora added.

Religare Finvest, which is coming out with a retail bond issue next month to raise up to Rs 800 crore, said the funds raised through it will be utilised for financing business activities, including lending and investments.

The company currently provides consumer finance and IPO financing services.

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