NRI bank deposits dip in Kerala

Thursday, 29 May 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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Thiruvananthapuram: The deposits by non-resident Indians (NRIs) in banks in Kerala have come down though the banks' domestic deposits have grown, a survey by a banker's association reveals.

The deposits by NRIs in Kerala as of December 2007 were 306.56 billion, down from 329.55 billion for the same period a year before, according to figures released by State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) here Thursday.

The report suggests that the NRI deposits grew in the years between 2002-06 and then fell in the year 2006-07. The total deposits in banks as of March 2002, was 245.34 billion and touched 306.71 billion in March 2006 and came to present levels by December 2007.

At the same time, the domestic deposits in these banks grew from 583.94 billion in March 2007 to 687.71 billion in December 2007.

"The interest rate is having a free fall and also the rupee is strengthening against the dollar. My three children, who are working abroad, are looking to park their funds elsewhere. They have lost quite a bit in the last year and now they say they can hedge between currencies. The central government has to do something about it, and if not, more and more people will look to other places to invest," said K.C. Thomas, a Malayali who spent nearly three decades in the Middle East before returning home.

There are nearly two million expatriate Malayalis, of which nearly 90 percent work in the Middle East.
Source: IANS
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