Companies leveraged at 2008 levels
V Anantharaman, managing director, co-head, wholesale banking, South Asia for Standard Chartered, believes that funds will continue to remain expensive for some time.
Anantharaman, who also oversees the M&A space, tells Shobhana Subramanian that while there may not be too many multi-billion deals in the near future, companies are tapping PE funds through both equity and mezzanine deals.
There seems to be a fair degree of concern on foreign currency repayments coming up Ö
In terms of maturing ECBs and FCCBs, people have borrowed for a variety of reasons, including projects, acquisitions and general corporate purposes. In some cases, the repayments have been predicated on cash flows. In other words, these are amortising loans, and companies would have already been paying them off. We donít really hear of any defaults, though itís possible some loans may have been restructured. The issue that remains is of the larger bullet loans where repayments are coming up; in most of these cases they will need to be refinanced. Given that many of the FCCBs may not be converted into equity, RBI has opened a window where companies can start the process of refinancing six months prior to maturity. But this is a somewhat short time-
frame so companies are initiating
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