National Housing Bank to tap $200 mn ECB window within a fortnight: RV Verma, Chairman
Mar 22, 2014
Source : The Economic Times


MUMBAI: The National Housing Bank (NHB), which regulates pure-play home financiers, today said it will be raising $200 million from overseas market within the next fortnight, which will ensure that home loan players meet $1 billion target of foreign fund raising in FY14.

"We will be raising $200 million through the ECB (external commercial borrowing) route in the next 10-15 days. We expect a go ahead from the Reserve Bank on the same in a day or two," NHB chairman and managing director RV Verma told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

He said with this, home loan companies will achieve the target of raising $1 billion in FY14 through the ECB window, offered for financing affordable housing.

Apart from HDFCBSE -0.03 %, which went public with its $300-million fund raising using the ECB route, other companies which have availed of the avenue include LIC Home Finance, Dewan Housing FinanceBSE -1.99 % and PNBBSE 0.05 % Housing Finance among others together raised $500 million, taking the total to $800 million so far this fiscal, he said.

The NHB, which refinances a part of the housing finance portfolios and acts as the sector regulator for housing finance companies, is looking at arranging the funds at a rate of Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate)-plus 1.50-1.60 per cent, he said.

Verma, however, did not give any target of fund raising through the route for FY15, but said companies will definitely like to exercise this option again.

He said as against the target of Rs 20,000 crore for FY14, the NHB has so far refinanced about Rs 13,000 crore of loans and is confident of achieving the target by June 30, when its fiscal ends.

After the success in mobilising Rs 4,000 crore through the tax-free bonds in the domestic market, NHB will be asking the finance ministry to raise the target to over Rs 6,000 crore for the next fiscal, Verma said.

asked about the suggestion by ex-ICICI Bank executive Nachiket Mor to have a floating rates index to curb the arbitrary rates charged by HFCs, Verma said it is a welcome suggestion and NHB will soon be formulating a high level panel to look into it.

To start with, as the liability profiles of each company is different, it can come up with a range within which the rates should operate and then get down to a specific number.


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