According to sources, the credit bureau has almost run through the Rs43 crore it has raised and is about to cease operations in a couple of months, unless it finds a new investor
High Mark Credit Information Services, one of the four credit information companies (CICs) in India, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is under a severe financial stress, following the exit of several of its top managers and the failure of its rights issue last year. Its promoter Anil Pandya, who lives in the US, is now trying to rope in a foreign rating agency to put additional capital. According to sources, the company has almost run through the Rs43 crore, it raised, and is about to cease operations in couple of months, unless it finds a new investor. As per a rights issue memorandum of SBI Capital Markets dated 11 November 2011, High Mark needed Rs70 crore to until it becomes cash flow positive sometime in 2016. The rights issue failed.
Prof Anil Pandya, chairman and founder director of High Mark, said, “High mark is raising funds to maintain its momentum in the market. As of date it has become the second credit information company, with 550 members in a short span of 20 some months.”
Inability to raise funds and deploy them to the satisfaction of its clients has meant that SKS Microfinance has suspended its relationship with High Mark. This may mean Rs4 crore annual revenue loss immediately. Prof Pandya, however, denied any such thing. In an email, he said, “SKS is a major business partner of High Mark and continues to do so”.
The other three CICs—Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL), Experian Credit Information Company of India Pvt Ltd and Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd (ECIS)—have major banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) as stakeholders too. Leading global credit bureaus with a long track record outside India have controlling stake in all these three credit bureaus.
High Mark received a licence from the RBI in November 2010. High Mark has invested heavily over the past four years in creating competencies' and technologies. The credit bureau has spent around Rs19 crore in building its IT infrastructure and support systems.
The Indian government on 8 September 2009 approved High Mark's proposal for foreign direct investment (FDI) of $4.74 million. At present, FDI in credit bureau is capped at 49% and any transfer of more than 5% of shares requires approval from the RBI. Similarly, institutional investment in a credit bureau is capped at 10%.
State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Edelweiss Capital, Citicorp Finance (India), CBC Companies (US) and CRIF S.p.A (Italy), all have 9.09% stake each in High Mark.
However, in the absence of any strategic investor acting as the promoter, High Mark is forced to look for funding from outside investors. While admitting that the credit bureau is looking to raise funding from domestic and foreign investors, Prof Pandya said, “Only CIBIL has funds. The other two (Experian India and ECIS) are also in the market raising funds. Deep pockets and ample sources of funding do not help because of the regulatory constraints on capital structure of CICs.”
High Mark’s existing investors refused to participate in the rights issue. Sources say that some of these investors are miffed at the changes at the top, such as Sidhharth Das who was the chief operating officer and Kiran Moras who was the architect of the system. They apparently had major differences with Prof Pandya.
A big bone of contention is the generous salary, bonus, perks and stock options that the board has given to Prof Pandya when he has had little operating role. Apart from a salary package of Rs60 lakh a year in 2011, he also got Rs4.27 crore as lump-sum compensation for past services including obtaining license from the RBI. During FY10, he was paid Rs1.25 crore for services rendered towards procuring the RBI license. Vepa Kamesam, a former deputy governor of the RBI is one of the independent directors on the High Mark board.
The other three RBI approved credit bureaus, CIBIL, Experian India and ECIS have received funding of around Rs50 to Rs75 crore and have access to additional funds through promoter or parent company which are large organisations specialising in credit information business mainly in the US and UK.
As a signatory of the WTO, India can resort to anti-dumping actions, anti-subsidies and countervailing measures and emergency protection from imports
New Delhi: The Indian Government can initiate action against dumping of goods by nations like China if a complaint is made with documentary proof that such imports were hurting domestic industry, the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Parliament) was informed on Wednesday, reports PTI.
Replying to supplementary during Question Hour, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandareswari said as a signatory of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), India can resort to anti-dumping actions, anti-subsidies and countervailing measures and emergency protection from imports.
But "there a complaint needs to be lodged with proof that industry has been affected," she said.
Under the three agreements, action can be taken against dumping (selling at an unfairly low price), subsidies and special countervailing duties to offset the subsidies and emergency measures to limit imports temporarily to safeguard domestic industries.
"There are provisions available for action to be initiated against dumping," she said. "Since 2009, adverse effect of large imports from China on domestic industry has been established in two cases of rubber related products/inputs based on investigation and safeguard duty imposed," she said.
Purandareswari said while IIP, the index that measures industrial growth, had been fluctuating over the past few years because of global economic slowdown, it has bounced back with 8.2% growth in October.
Textiles, wearing apparel, rubber and plastic products, electrical machinery and apparatus and furniture all record positive growth in October, she said. The sectors had posted negative growth rate in 2011-12.
"The reasons for decline in the growth can be attributed to both domestic as well as international factors which include Eurozone crisis and decline in external demand moderation in domestic demand, hardening of interest rates, inflationary pressure and rising input costs," she said.
The Minister said National Manufacturing Policy, unveiled in November last year, aims to raise contribution of manufacturing in the GDP to 25% besides making domestic industry globally competitive.
She said state governments should cooperate in helping revive manufacturing sectors as land acquisition, power and other clearances "act as a drag".
Shocked by Yashveer Singh's action, which caused commotion in the House, some Congress members led by Sonia Gandhi immediately came to the Well to stop him, which created a near scuffle like situation
New Delhi: In a shocking incident, a Samajwadi Party (SP) member stunned the Lok Sabha on Wednesday afternoon snatching the copy of the quota in promotion bill from Minister V Narayanasamy and was sought to be thwarted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, reports PTI.
The sudden action of member from Nagina, Yashveer Singh came when Minister of State for Personnel Narayanasamy was moving the bill for consideration from the second row and Gandhi, who is also the UPA Chairperson, was occupying her usual front seat.
Singh had, meanwhile, passed on the bill to his party colleague Neeraj Shekhar which fell down.
Shocked by Singh's action, which caused commotion in the House, some Congress members led by Gandhi immediately came to the Well to stop Singh, which created a near scuffle like situation. The Congress members included K Bapiraju and Vilas Muttemwar.
This was because the SP members were already in the Well in strength vociferously protesting against taking up the measure.
The situation led to a verbal spat between the Congress and SP members.
Speaker Meira Kumar was so shocked by the incident that she abruptly adjourned the House for the day. .
Amid the melee, several Congress members rushed to the Well and surrounded Gandhi in an apparent bid to protect the leader who was being questioned by SP members for thwarting Singh.
Although the Speaker left the House, the commotion persisted.
In order to calm the tempers in the surcharged House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath walked up to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav who was surrounded by his party colleagues including Singh.
Congress members also sought to reach out to the BJP in the wake of incident but not to much success.
Samajwadi Party has been isolated on its opposition to the Bill which will ensure quota in promotion in government jobs for SC/ST employees.
BSP supremo Mayawati, an arch detractor of Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh politics, has been seeking to take credit for the passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Terming the incident as "very deplorable and extremely unfortunate", Kamal Nath later told reporters, "We will urge the Speaker to condemn it and take action against the member."
"The Bill will be taken up tomorrow when the House meets," he said, maintaining that such an act "frustrates parliamentary democracy."
Nath said since Gandhi was closest to the spot where the snatching incident occurred, she asked the member to return the papers he had snatched.
"In democracy, if you are against something, you vote against it. But you can't do this. I condemn it. If they show such an attitude, there is no need for democracy or Parliament or the media," the Minister said.