Indebted IL&FS gets lifeline as shareholders approve fundraising

By Ameya Karve

Troubled Indian shadow bank Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd., whose recent debt defaults sparked concern about contagion in the nations financial markets, secured a lifeline after shareholders approved its plans to raise money through debt and equity.

Stockholders green-lit IL&FSs plans to raise as much as 150 billion rupees ($2.1 billion) through a non-convertible debt issue, hike the firms borrowing limit by 40 percent to 350 billion rupees and increase its share capital to enable a rights offering, the company said in a filing.

The firm finances infrastructure projects across the worlds fastest-growing major economy and is considered systemically important by the central bank. Its defaults on commercial paper from August sparked concern among households holding mutual funds invested in such debt, and forced banks and mutual and pension fund managers to brace for further losses.

IL&FSs investors include biggest Indian insurer Life Insurance Corp., top lender State Bank of India, largest mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. and Japans Orix Corp. V.K. Sharma, the chairman of biggest shareholder LIC, on Friday said the beleaguered group can raise 600 billion rupees by selling assets.

IL&FS on Saturday appointed Alvarez & Marsal to devise a restructuring plan that will be implemented upon approval by the board and stakeholders.

Original Article

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