HDFC is planning to raise $500 million via the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) route, said Keki Mistry, Vice-Chairman and CEO.

“We have applied to raise $500 million through External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) and are awaiting the Reserve Bank of India's approval now,” Mistry told Business Line.

India’s largest standalone housing finance company will be raising the funds before March-end 2013. HDFC largely focuses on meeting the housing needs of the middle-income group.

The RBI has allowed ECB up to $1 billion for developers/builders in FY 2012-13 for low-cost affordable housing projects.

Housing finance companies (HFCs) and the National Housing Bank (NHB) can also tap the ECB route for financing prospective owners of low-cost housing units, the RBI said.

NHB is planning to raise $200 million through ECB to refinance individual loans given by HFCs and banks.

“In the affordable homes segment, HDFC had seen loan disbursements of about Rs 12,000 crore last year,” Mistry said.

According to the RBI, a low-cost affordable housing project for ECB purpose would be one in which at least 60 per cent of the permissible FSI (floor space index) would be for units having maximum carpet area up to 60 square meters.

(This article was published on February 3, 2013)
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