Companies & Sectors
Srei BNP Paribas raises lending rates by 25 bps

Earlier, the company, a joint venture between Srei Infra and the French lender BNP Paribas, had last increased its lending rates by 1% in November 2011


Mumbai: Infrastructure and construction equipment financing company Srei BNP Paribas on Monday raised its benchmark rate by 0.25% to 17.25% following a rise in borrowing cost, reports PTI.

The company was hopeful of a cut in interest rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its recent policy announcement and decided to raise the rate as the apex bank decided to pause, its chief executive DK Vyas said in a statement.

One basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

The company had "decided to wait and look for a trend of increase in the borrowing cost before it decided to pass on the incremental borrowing cost to its customers to maintain a healthy margin", he added.

The company, a joint venture between NBFC Srei and the French lender BNP Paribas, had last increased its BPLR by 1% in November 2011, the statement said.


CRISIL sees Rupee regaining 50 level by March

The Indian currency will appreciate to touch the 50 level by next March provided certain measures are taken by the government urgently, the ratings agency said


Mumbai: Rating agency CRISIL on Monday said it expects the Indian rupee, which has been at the receiving end for quite some time and hit an all-time low of 57.32 to the dollar recently, will regain the 50 level by March-end subject to the government taking measures to revive growth, reports PTI.

The domestic currency will appreciate to touch the 50 level by next March provided certain measures are taken by the government urgently, the rating agency's research wing said in a note.

Measures like initiation of some policy measures to revive the sagging growth, no further worsening of growth and inflation and an easing of current account deficit due to softening of crude and commodity prices will help in the revival of the currency, the report said.

The note gave a chance of two in three for the rupee to appreciate to 50 levels to the dollar by the fiscal-end if there is improvement in the sentiment. Whereas, there is a one-third possibility of the rupee continuing to trade in the 55-57 range in case of a status quo in domestic policy setting, and no change in the Eurozone problems and the ongoing global turbulence.

The rupee has lost over 27% since last August to earn itself the distinction of being the worst performing currency in Asia due to various factors like worsening of the current account deficit and dwindling capital inflows because of investor doubts.

During early trade today it gained 6 paise to the dollar and was trading at 55.55. The recent downfall has seen it touch an all-time low of Rs 57.32 to the dollar intra-day and a closing low of 57.14 on 22nd June.

CRISIL said the recent fall in the rupee is characterised by higher impact of the country's rising vulnerability and relatively lower impact of external shocks.

The vulnerability arises from several factors like widening current account deficit, which touched a two-decade high of 4.2% last fiscal, declining import cover of foreign exchange reserves, a high private corporate debt servicing burden and slower growth, it said.

The shock element is much lesser as there are no events like the folding up of Lehman Brothers in 2008, in the US which are on the horizon, it said.


ICICI sells entire Rs430 crore Kingfisher loan to Srei Infra

Srei Infrastructure Finance bought the entire Rs430 crore loan of ICICI Bank given to Kingfisher Airlines. However, the bank still hold 3% stake in the debt-ridden airlines


Mumbai: A debt fund operated by Kolkata- based Srei Infrastructure Finance on Monday said it has bought out the entire exposure of ICICI Bank, worth around Rs430 crore, in the financially troubled Kingfisher Airlines, reports PTI.

Sanjeev K Sancheti, chief financial officer of Srei Infra Finance group confirmed the deal to PTI over phone from Kolkata and described the asset as "a good buy as it is a fully secured debt."

When contacted, an ICICI Bank spokesperson said, "We have recovered the entire debt exposure of Rs430 crore and currently we do not have any debt exposure to the Kingfisher Airlines."

However, ICICI still holds around 3% stake in the airline. Earlier it had 5.68% stake in the carrier, after converting the bonds the airline had issued it lenders following the November 2010 debt recast. Still 14 of the 18 lenders to Kingfisher together hold a little over 21% in the airline.

The Bangalore-based carrier promoted by liquor baron Vijay Mallya has been struggling to operate for nearly a year now as it has been unable to raise even working capital from banks following its over Rs7,500 crore loan turning an non-performing assets (NPAs) from January.

The carrier has not been paying salaries to employees for the past five months, besides defaulting on tax payments as well as bills to its vendors.

It has been seeking fresh bank funding since last December apart from raising overseas funds. .

Launched in May 2005, Kingfisher has not made a profit so far and has a total outstanding debt of Rs7,500 crore and an equal amount in accumulated loss.

Of the total loans, State Bank of India (SBI) alone has an exposure of Rs1,400 crore, followed by Punjab National Bank (PNB) at Rs700 crore and Bank of Baroda at around Rs500 crore.

Around 200 pilots are on strike since yesterday, protesting non-payment of salary, which they have not received for the past five months, forcing the airline to cancel four flights today morning.

Kingfisher currently has only 15 aircraft flying, including eight ATRs, while 15 of its aircraft are grounded due to non-availability of spares on account of fund crunch.

Its lessors have already taken back 34 aircraft after the company allegedly defaulted on the rentals amounting to around Rs1,000 crore.


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