New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Piramal Group Chairman Ajay Piramal has said the group will continue to work with the Shriram team in developing a long-term strategy for the financial services businesses.

The statement assumes significance in the light the Piramal Group-backed financial services major Shriram Group agreed with IDFC to merge and create the largest retail- focused bank in the country.

“Our partnership with the Shriram Group has enabled us to diversify across retail segments of financial services. We continue to work with the Shriram team in developing a long- term strategy for the financial services businesses,” Piramal said in his message to shareholders.

Piramal Enterprises picked up stakes across Shriram group companies between 2013 and 2015, including 20 per cent stake purchase in Shriram Capital, paving the way for Ajay Piramal to take over as its chairman in 2015.

Giving details of the financial services segment of the Group, he said it has delivered robust growth during the year.

“Our loan book grew 87 per cent to Rs 24,975 crore.

Significant growth in our loan book is attributable to the consistent expansion of the product portfolio. During the year, we started providing construction finance and lease rental discounting in commercial space,” he said.

Construction finance is now 60 per cent of the real estate lending portfolio.

“Under Corporate financing, we started providing sector agnostic lending beyond the infrastructure space and moved down the risk curve by introducing products such as senior lending, etc,” he said.

Last week, infra lender IDFC which entered into banking late 2015 and the Piramal Group-backed financial services major Shriram Group agreed to merge and create the largest retail-focused bank in the country.

The boards of two groups met Saturday and the boards of Shriram Group and IDFC have entered into an exclusivity arrangement for 90 days to jointly explore an opportunity for a merger.

The proposal is subject to regulatory approvals from the RBI, Sebi, Irdai, the CCI and stock exchanges.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.