India's banks will need about $90 billion to meet global Basel III rules which are due to be fully implemented by March 2019, Fitch Ratings said, calling the requirements "onerous" given the lenders' weak asset quality and internal capital generation.
The capital needs of more than two dozen lenders that are majority owned by the state make up about 80 percent of the system total, the rating agency said in a statement on Tuesday. More than half the capital needs will have to be met via core equity, it added.
"The sharp rise in their NPLs (non-performing loans) and resultant losses have weakened the banks' core capital buffers," Fitch said of the state-run banks, adding the "viability ratings" of the lenders would be under pressure if capital levels are not addressed either by the government or the market.
With their weak metrics and high bad loans, India's state-run banks have not been investor favorites, forcing them to depend on the government for capital injection.
The government has plans to inject 450 billion rupees ($6.7 billion) in the banks through March 2019. Fitch said the government and related entities will likely have to inject more so that the banks continue to lend.