Millennium Post

No proposal yet from IL&FS for additional funds: SBI chairman

Mumbai: The largest lender State Bank of India Wednesday said it has not received any concrete proposal for additional funds so far from the crisis-ridden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) group.

SBI holds 6.42 per cent in the IL&FS group that is facing serious liquidity crisis and has defaulted on interest payment on various debt repayments since August 27. The group has over Rs 91,000 crore in debt.

"There is no concrete proposal as of now. When I receive a concrete proposal then we will decide," chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters when asked whether IL&FS has asked for any funds from the bank.

LIC, which is the largest shareholder with over 25 per cent stake, had Tuesday said it wouldn't allow the group to go belly up.

Kumar, who was talking to reporters after launching a co-branded credit card with Apollo Hospitals, said SBI, being the leader in the industry, will do everything to stabilise the financial markets.

"The SBI board will take decisions based in the larger

interest of the industry and also to protect our shareholders interest," Kumar added.

IL&FS needs an immediate capital infusion of Rs 3,000 crore and is also planning a Rs 4,500 crore rights issue, but some of the existing shareholders like HDFC is not keen to participate in the issue.

At a meeting held earlier this month, the key shareholders of the debt-ridden company, including LIC, SBI and HDFC had kept a pre-condition for it to raise funds through its assets or noncore businesses, before any additional money could be pumped in.

There have been reports that IL&FS has even put on block its headquarters in the city for around Rs 1,300 crore.

On September 4, it came to light that IL&FS had defaulted on a short-term loan of Rs 1,000 crore from Sidbi, while a subsidiary has also defaulted Rs 500 crore dues to the development finance institution.

On Monday IL&FS Financial Services also defaulted on repayment of commercial papers due that day. While the IL&FS group has a consolidated debt of Rs 91,000 crore with IL&FS alone having nearly Rs 35,000 crore, and IL&FS Financial Services Rs 17,000 crore, which sits as standard asset for most of the lenders, according to a Nomura India report.

Talking about the current liquidity crisis in the banking industry, Kumar said the situation is not a big concern at present.

"I don't think that liquidity is so big a concern that we have to request RBI for a cut in the cash reserve ratio," he said when asked have banks requested RBI to reduce CRR, which stands at 4 per cent now.

As of March 2018, LIC and Orix Corporation of Japan were the largest shareholders of IL&FS with 25.34 and 23.54 per cent respectively, while Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, HDFC, Central Bank of India and SBI hold 12.56 per cent, 9.02 per cent, 7.67 per cent and 6.42 per cent, respectively.

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