NBFCs, MFIs To See Rs 50,000-60,000 Crore Funding Gap On Lack Of Moratorium: Report
The Reserve Bank of India logo is displayed outside the central bank in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Kanishka Sonthali/Bloomberg)

NBFCs, MFIs To See Rs 50,000-60,000 Crore Funding Gap On Lack Of Moratorium: Report

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The Reserve Bank of India may have to open direct liquidity window for small Non-Bank Financial Companies and Microfinance Institutions as banks refuse to offer moratorium to them on one hand, and gave a muted response to the first Targeted Long-Term Repo Operations auction, aggravating their funding gap to Rs 50,000-60,000 crore, according to a report.

Small and medium shadow banks and micro-lenders need a direct refinance from financial institutions or the RBI should open direct refinance window for them, Acuite Ratings said, a day after the apex bank said the first TLTRO auction of Rs 25,000 crore saw a tepid response from banks, which put in bids for just half the amount -- only Rs 12,850 crore.

"We believe the liquidity concerns of NBFCs and MFIs have aggravated and a quick response is the need of the hour. The funding gap is estimated to further increase to Rs 50,000-60,000 crore," the agency said in a report.

Also read: Flood of Cash With Indian Banks May Prompt RBI to Use New Tool

The estimate is based on the analysis of "the top 11 retail NBFCs which may find the funding gap of Rs 10,000-20,000 crore in Q1. Without the moratorium or partial moratorium from banks, the funding gap will increase further to Rs 15,000-25,000 crore in the first quarter. Clearly, the gap for the sector including MFIs in Q1 will be much higher at Rs 50,000-60,000 crore based on broad estimates".

While the RBI has provided a three-month moratorium to all borrowers, including NBFCs and MFIs for March-May, it is increasingly clear that all banks are not likely to grant such a moratorium for their NBFC or MFI borrowers.

Further, a 50 percent response to the first tranche of bids TLTRO 2.0 indicates that banks are hesitant to take fresh exposures to the sector, particularly to small and mid-sized NBFCs, including MFIs now.

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"Thus, a refinance window of Rs 50,000 crore through government financial institutions such as Sidbi assumes significant relevance. We feel that lack of backup or alternative funding lines will have serious implications for the sustainability of NBFCs over the next three months as loan collections likely to be limited during the moratorium," the report said.

With the first TLTRO 2.0 failing fresh funding or refinancing to the sector from this route is unlikely to exceed Rs 10,000 crore unless there is a significant change in the banks' response in the second tranche, it said.

"We believe that the Rs 50,000-crore refinance window through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), Small industrial Development Bank of India (Sidbi) and National Housing Bank (NHB) will be critical," the rating agency said.

Also read: RBI’s Funding Facility Targeted At NBFCs Fails To Garner Much Interest

Under this, Nabard is getting Rs 25,000 crore, Sidbi is allotted Rs 15,000 crore and NHB is getting the remaining Rs 10,000 crore. Of the three Sidbi has already announced schemes to provide liquidity by extending short-term loans to NBFCs and MFIs.

"While the refinance facility will be available to small and mid-sized NBFCs who provide loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, they need to be rated in the investment grade with a minimum networth of Rs 20 crore and with capital adequacy above the mandatory levels.

"This may provide some short-term relief to the sector and enable some players to sustain their operations for another three months. But, if collections don't revive rapidly, the liquidity challenges may continue and will necessitate longer term funding," the report concluded.

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