Deal will help stress res­o­lu­tion, say lenders

Business Standard - - COMPANIES - ABHIJIT LELE

The trans­fer of Tata group’s con­sumer mo­bile busi­ness to Bharti Air­tel is ex­pected to lessen the debt bur­den on lenders and pave the way for fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion in the trou­bled sec­tor.

Though many cases, in­clud­ing Re­liance Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, await res­o­lu­tion, se­nior bank ex­ec­u­tives said Thurs­day’s deal would bring re­lief to lenders as the tele­com as­sets would move to an op­er­a­tionally-strong en­tity. Ac­cord­ing to se­nior PSU bank ex­ec­u­tives, the Tata group has con­veyed it would stand by it loan clear­ing com­mit­ments. The ex­ec­u­tives said they ex­pected the group to haggle for con­ces­sions (on pay­ment terms), but hoped there wouldn’t be a big im­pact.

As on March 31, the com­bined debt of Tata Te­le­ser­vices and Tata Te­le­ser­vices (Ma­ha­rash­tra) was over ~34,000 crore (ex­clud­ing the de­ferred pay­ment li­a­bil­i­ties to the govern­ment for spec­trum), ac­cord­ing to a Crisil re­port.

Tata group is a spe­cial men­tion ac­count. That means re­pay­ments by the group have stayed due between one and 60 days and re­pay­ments have never crossed the thresh­old of 90-days (af­ter which a bor­rower ac­count is termed as non-per­form­ing loan).

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