Banks to refinance R10,000 crore of Adani subsidiaries
With the option of classifying restructured assets as standard loans no longer available to them, it would appear banks are taking recourses to the 5/25 scheme to refinance stressed loans so as to prevent them from turning into non-performing assets (NPAs).
Led by State Bank of India (SBI), lenders to two subsidiaries of Adani Power — Adani Power Maharashtra (APML) and Adani Power Rajasthan (APRL) — are in the process of finalising a R15,000-crore term-loan refinance proposal, three bankers in the know told FE.
According to sources, bankers have agreed to extend the loan repayment period of 10 years to a repayment option spanning 19 years under the 5/25 scheme of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Unlike in the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cell, where the promoter needed to bring in some equity as a contribution to the recast package, in the case of a refinancing under 5/25, there is no such requirement.
In the 5/25 model banks can extend loans to infrastructure projects for up to 25 years, with the option of refinancing them every five years either themselves or by roping in new lenders.
SBI alone, it is understood, will refinance close to R5,000 crore of the debt — R2,900 to APML and R2,100 to APRL — and the terms are expected to be finalised by the end of April. The interest rate to be paid is slightly over 12%, the same rate being charged earlier.
“These subsidiaries of Adani Power will get an 18-month moratorium on payments towards principal of the loans. Since we are changing the terms under the 5/25 scheme, it will not be considered a restructured asset,” a source explained.
He added that since the companies reported losses in FY14 and their cash flows are strained in the absence of a compensatory tariff having been sanctioned, refinancing the loans via the 5/25 route will help keep the asset standard. APML reported a net loss of R646 crore in FY14 while APRL posted a net loss of R285 crore.
According to documents available with the registrar of companies, the combined debt of the subsidiaries stood at Rs 19,694 crore in FY14, up 27.5% over the previous year.
Since December 2014, RBI has allowed banks to refinance existing infrastructure projects under the 5/25 model provided the projects have commenced commercial operations. The central bank said in a notification: “Banks may fix a fresh loan amortisation schedule for the existing project loans once during the lifetime of the project, after the date of commencement of commercial operations without this being treated as restructuring.”
Till April, banks were resorting to restructuring stressed loans via CDR since the RBI allowed such assets to be categorised as ‘restructured standard’, which meant banks needed to make a provision of just 5% and not a minimum of 15% as is required for an NPA. However, that forbearance has been lifted from April 1.
Adani Power has committed to supplying power under a long-term power purchase agreements to distribution companies Uttar Haryana Bijli Vidyut Nigam, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vidyut Nigam (Haryana discoms), and Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam. The company, whose plants are being fuelled by imported coal from Indonesia, had approached the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for a tariff hike to compensate it for the rise in the cost of coal. While the CERC has allowed compensatory tariff, the Haryana and Gujarat discoms have approached the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity against the CERC order.