Indian firms raised $3.7 billion in August through ECBs, FCCBs

Around 70 companies raised over $2.68 billion for various projects through the automatic route, which does not require the RBI or the government approval while another $1.02 billion were raised through the approval route, according to latest RBI data

Mumbai: India Inc raised over $3.7 billion from overseas markets in August through external commercial borrowings (ECBs) and foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), reports PTI.

Around 70 companies raised over $2.68 billion for various projects through the automatic route, which does not require the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) or the government approval.

Another $1.02 billion were raised through the approval route, according to latest RBI data.

Auto giant Tata Motors alone raised $500 million through ECBs for its rupee expenditure.

Similarly, state-owned Steel Authority of India mopped up $500 million in two tranches through ECBs during the month for modernisation of projects. Electrosteel Castings raised $200 million for the same purpose.

Corporates, registered under the Companies Act, 1956, were earlier allowed to access ECBs up to $500 million in a financial year under the automatic route. The ECB, which is not covered by the automatic route, is considered under the approval route on a case-by-case basis by the RBI.

However, last month the government raised the limit of external borrowings, with tenure of five years or more under the automatic route, to $750 million.

For the services sector, the ECB limit under the automatic route was doubled to $200 million and for NGOs from $5 million to $10 million.

ECBs are used as an additional source of funding by Indian corporates to augment resources available domestically. FCCBs are also governed by norms similar to ECBs.

Other major fund raisers in August were Idea Cellular-$150 million, and Bhushan Steel-$135 million in three tranches for various project.

Under the approval route in August, national carrier Air India and private firm Spice Jet raised $366 million and $270 million, respectively, for import of capital goods.


Moody's downgrades SBI over poor Tier-I capital ratio, NPAs

The rating agency cited a likely rise in the bank's non-performing assets in the near future as one of the reasons for the downgrade

New Delhi: Global ratings firm Moody's today downgraded its rating of State Bank of India's (SBI) financial strength by one notch to 'D+' on account of the lender's low Tier-I capital ratio and deteriorating asset quality.

"Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the State Bank of India's bank financial strength rating (BFSR), or standalone rating, to 'D+' from 'C-'," the agency said in a statement.

As per Moody's, a 'D' rating suggest "modest intrinsic financial strength, potentially requiring some outside support at times", while a 'C' rating denotes "adequate intrinsic financial strength".

Moody's cited a likely rise in the bank's non-performing assets in the near future as one of the reasons for the downgrade.

"The rating action considers SBI's capital situation and deteriorating asset quality. Our expectations that NPAs (non-performing assets) are likely to continue rising in the near term-due to higher interest rates and a slower economy-have caused us to adopt a negative view on SBI's creditworthiness," Moody's vice-president and senior credit officer Beatrice Woo said.

The standalone rating for SBI's private sector competitors, like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, stands at 'C-'.

"The revised rating maps to a baseline credit assessment (BCA) of Baa3. As a result of the lower BCA, the hybrid debt rating was downgraded to Ba3 (hyb) from Ba2 (hyb).

"The revised BFSR carries a stable outlook and the hybrid rating a negative outlook," Moody's said, adding that other credit ratings of the bank are unaffected.

The ratings downgrade puts pressure on the government to infuse capital in the country's largest lender as soon as possible.

"Notwithstanding our expectations that SBI's capital ratios will soon be restored through capital infusion by the government, SBI's efforts to secure this capital for the better part of the year demonstrates the bank's limited ability to manage its capital," Ms Woo said.

SBI had reported a Tier-I capital ratio of 7.60% as of 30 June 2011, as against the suggested level of 8% termed as desirable by the government for public sector banks.

"The level pushes the bank into a lower rating band. In addition, it was below the 8% Tier-I ratio that the government of India has committed to maintaining in public sector banks and substantially lower than those of other C- rated Indian banks," the ratings agency said.

It said such a low Tier-I capital ratio provides an insufficient cushion to support growth and to absorb potentially higher credit costs arising from deteriorating asset quality.

Moody's said SBI, like other public sector banks in India, will face cyclical swings in its Tier-I ratio over a three-year period and accordingly, it has rated the bank through the cycle assuming an average Tier-I capital ratio of 8.5%.

"The Rs23,000 crore rights issue that SBI is currently seeking would raise its Tier-I ratio to approximately 9.3%. However, we estimate that capital deployed for loan growth, assuming 15% per annum for the next three fiscal years, will cause the Tier-I ratio to fall below 8%, thereby necessitating another capital exercise," Moody's said.

SBI's NPAs reached a three-year high of 3.52% of loans for the quarter ended 30th June.

"Against the backdrop of a slowing economy and higher interest rates, the rising trend evident in SBI's new NPA formation rate since the third quarter of 2010-11 will continue. Therefore, Moody's expects SBI's potential credit costs will be relatively high in the near-term. NPA-as a percentage of the bank's Tier-I capital ratio-is now about 43%," the agency said.

Moody's said that under a stress scenario, which assumed a gross NPA ratio of 12.07%, SBI would require $8 billion to replenish its Tier-I capital ratio to 8%.

"To put this into perspective, SBI's ability to absorb losses in a stress situation is below that of the 'C-' rated Indian banks. In order for SBI to raise its standalone rating, the bank has to increase and sustain the level of its Tier-I capital, as well as contain its asset quality, in line with other C-rated Indian banks over an extended period," Moody's said.



Vikas B

5 years ago

Why is recapitalization and What does Recapitalization of SBI mean for me (citizen, taxpayer)?


Birla Sun Life AMC introduces new facilities for customers

Birla Sun Life launches subscription through debit card, daily systematic transfer plans and step-up SIPs

Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Ltd (BSLAMC) has launched an array of customer centric facilities to enhance the customer experience and convenience. These are subscription through debit card, every day systematic transfer plan (STP) and systematic investment plan (SIP) with step-up option.

BSLAMC has launched the debit card payment on its website through a secure platform such that existing investors would be able to use their debit card (VISA) while making additional subscriptions through their secured login section on the AMC website. This service has been introduced to enhance customer convenience as not many investors have access to internet banking for their bank accounts. Currently, subscriptions can be made through banks which are available on the VISA platform, offering features in line with the RBI guideline on 3D security.

Prior to this, BSLAMC had also launched mobile investment manager through which existing customers could manage their investments from the convenience of their mobile phone by registering for the service. Initiatives like the debit card payment and the mobile investment manager facilitate paperless transaction capabilities and go a long way in supporting the environmental cause.


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