The list of accounts which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently asked Axis Bank to classify as non-performing exposures includes Essar Power Gujarat, Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL), Jindal Stainless, Shree Renuka Sugars, Lanco Kondapalli Power, Lanco Amarkantak Power and Ballarpur Industries, people familiar with the development told FE. These seven exposures are worth close to Rs 90,000 crore, across all lenders to these companies and special purpose vehicles, data from Capitaline showed. Bankers FE spoke to said most lenders were yet to classify these accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs). An email sent to Axis Bank seeking comments remained unanswered till the time of going to press. Among the seven companies approached by FE for comments, JSPL and Jindal Stainless responded.
Jindal Stainless said in a statement Axis Bank has reclassified the account as an NPA on technical grounds, and not on financial grounds. “There is no default or delay in payment by JSL towards Axis Bank or any other bank,” a Jindal Stainless spokesperson said in the emailed response. A JSPL spokesperson said in an email that all loan accounts of JSPL with all banks are regular and standard. “There is no default on any loan account as on date, hence the question of any account being classified as NPA should not arise,” the statement said. Recent media reports noted lenders to Essar Power Gujarat — led by State Bank of India — have recently invoked shares pledged with them and have taken control of the company after it failed to repay its dues.
Meanwhile, two power projects of the Lanco Group have been classified by Axis Bank as NPAs in the September quarter, people aware of the matter said. While Lanco Kondapalli Power is a 1,476 MW independent power project located in Andhra Pradesh, Lanco Amarkantak Power is a 1,920 MW project located in Chhattisgarh, divided in two phases. Another company on the list, Ballarpur Industries is a very large manufacturer of writing and printing paper. The Gurgaon-based company is promoted by Gautam Thapar (0.09%), Avantha Holdings (24.95%) and Avantha Realty (0.01%).
Last week, Axis Bank had reclassified nine standard assets as NPAs after the RBI asked them to be reclassified as part of its annual review process. Axis Bank had said that as on June 30, 2017, these nine accounts were classified as standard assets across most consortium banks, with only about 6% of the total outstanding of these accounts being classified as NPAs across the sector. As on September 30, 2017, the fund-based outstanding of these nine accounts, Axis Bank had said, was Rs 4,867 crore, all of which now stands as NPA, it said.