Stocks

YES Bank results, Vodafone’s dues to stress banks in the week ahead

Bloomberg Mumbai | Updated on March 11, 2020 Published on March 11, 2020

Three key events could send ripples across the financial system in India

Investors will get crucial clarity in the coming days on the health of India’s financial sector.

The nation’s biggest developer is racing to refinance $324 million debt maturing March 13, and any stumble could lead to one of India’s largest offshore bond defaults. Then, a day later, Yes Bank is due to announce its results, which would shed light on what pushed authorities to seize the lender last week. Finally, March 17 is the deadline for Vodafone Group’s struggling Indian unit to pay $4 billion in overdue fees to the government — if it opts for bankruptcy instead, the impact will ripple across the financial system.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi can ill afford more stress; his economy is set to decelerate to an 11-year low and the coronavirus outbreak threatens to delay a revival. India’s central bank has come out twice in less than a year in a rare show of assurance to depositors that the nation’s banking system is safe.

 

“This is an important week for India in terms of the potential revival of the economy, given the close interlinkages between the financial and corporate sector,” said Madhavi Arora, an economist at Edelweiss Securities in Mumbai. Some light on the resolution of corporate stress this week would be crucial in determining the banking and non-banking financial systems health, at a time when domestic growth is fragile and credit conditions are tight.

Here are details of the key events:

Lodha Developers repayment

Lodha Developers International last week fell short of the top end of a fundraising range in a pivotal deal to refinance its existing note due March 13, and was set to launch a tap this week.

It also needs to meet conditions, including setting aside cash and getting consent from some of the groups other lenders, before it can use the proceeds of the new bond.

Moody’s Investors Service had earlier warned that Lodha did not have an alternate plan to repay, and that any failure to meet the complicated conditions would likely lead to a default.

YES Bank results

YES Bank, which was due to report results for the October-December quarter last month, delayed the announcement to March 14, saying it was busy trying to raise capital.

 

In the interim, Yes Bank’s worsening liquidity condition and the lack of commitments from potential investors forced the RBI to overthrow Yes Bank’s board, and effect the nation’s biggest bank rescue that could wipe out some bondholders.

The extent of the deterioration in its financials will be clear on Saturday.

Vodafone’s dues

Vodafone Idea Ltd, which has more than $14 billion in net debt and has not reported a profit in more than two years, must pay the government $4 billion by March 17, or risk contempt of court proceedings.

 

In December, Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla warned of a potential collapse in the absence of any relief over the payment, British partner Vodafone has completely written off the value of its 45 per cent holdings in the venture and signalled it is not keen to invest more.

 

“Banks will have to pay the price if any telecom firm files for bankruptcy,” Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, said last month. India’s government may clear a bailout package this week, Times of India reported, without saying where it got the information.

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Published on March 11, 2020
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