Archive for December 11th, 2009

Current Fiscal Witnessed Fund Raising of $16.7 Billion

The first eight months of the current fiscal witnessed fund raising of $16.7 billion (Rs 78,000 crore) through equity issues by India Inc due to the returning of the foreign investors and resuming of expansion activities by the companies.

However, the amount raised so far in this fiscal is still far below as compared to the corresponding period of 2007-08, a year that witnessed a boom for the stock markets. India Inc had raised Rs 125,526 crore for the period between April and November 2007.

The overall fund-raising through equity and equity convertible financial instruments in the period between April-November 2009 was backed by an increase in the overseas issues and a rush by the companies to issue fresh shares to institutional investors through qualified institutional placement (QIP).

The total funds raised through overseas issues, including equity and equity convertible bonds in the first eight months of the current fiscal stood at Rs 27,745 crore across 28 issues as against Rs 945 crore reported during the whole of 2008-09, data compiled by Prime Database show.

However, during the same period, QIP issues also touched an all-time high with firms across sectors raising Rs 31,292 crore as compared to Rs 188 crore reported during FY09. This surge in QIPs is linked to the rise in stock market valuations as institutional investors flush with liquidity returned to fund expansions and new ventures of companies.

The fund-raising by companies coming through public issues also surged eight times to Rs 15,981 crore through 16 initial public offer (IPO). However, despite a revival in the capital market, the IPO market has not taken off in direct proportion to the revival in the capital market, which was witnessed in 2007-08. So far this fiscal there have been 19 IPOs while the same was at 67 in 07-08.

Over 100 companies raised Rs 83,000 crore by issuing debt instruments like bonds and debentures during H1 of the current fiscal. However, on a period-on-period basis, the April-September period saw funds raised to the tune of Rs 83,961 crore, an increase of 25% over Rs 67,108 crore mobilized in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the funds were raised by issuing through private placement debt instruments, including bonds, debentures and securitized papers, which have a tenor and put or call option of more than one year.

RBI’s Move to Modify the ECB Guidelines

India Inc cautiously welcomed the RBI”s move to modify the ECB guidelines and said this also indicates a gradual withdrawal of stimulus measures announced to help the industry tide over the global crisis.

However, Ficci said that the RBI”s step may make availability of funds through ECB route more expensive while the ECB route is frequently used by SMEs for raising funds, which are even otherwise available at a high price from the domestic banking system.

Meanwhile, it also said that the relaxation of certain ECB norms given by the RBI during the liquidity crisis period to India Inc have been gradually withdrawn that is an indicator of a gradual withdrawal of the stimulus package.

Further, CII said that RBI”s steps are an indication of slowly unwinding of the liquidity enhancing measures while these measures should not be seen as a precursor to monetary tightening through a rate hike.

On the other hand, the chamber welcomed the central bank”s decision to allow NBFCs exclusively involved in financing infrastructure projects to avail of ECBs.

Coconut Development Board Urges Govt to End Dependence on Import

On Wednesday, the Coconut Development Board organized a seminar and the main discussion over there was the hurdles in boosting production of coconut in West Bengal.

Mr Sugata Ghose, Director, Coconut Development Board, identified several factors responsible for poor production of coconut in the State.

They included lower oil content of copra, little headway in the effort to produce high copra yielding coconuts, limited production of coconut on commercial scale, difficulties in procuring good copra from the Andamans due to restriction on the export of copra from the islands and from Kochi due to high transportation cost and, last but not the least, absence of awareness of the local people about the potential of the coconut crop.

“A few months back, Coconut Development Board has been notified as Export Promotion Council for coconut products and keeping this in view, we’re trying to involve coconut growers, coconut oil millers and coconut product manufacturers not only to step up coconut processing in West Bengal but also to boost production of value-added and processed coconut products in the country,” Mr Ghose observed.

Mr Ashok Sethia, President, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, said that the overdependence on imported oil totally neglecting local growers and the local oil industry was a dangerous policy being pursued by the government.