Vodafone Idea’s (Vi’s) decision for conversion of dues to government into equity is beneficial for lenders as its liabilities will reduce and more money will be available to service the huge loan pile. However, clarity on the road map for conversion is necessary, said senior bank executives.
Its gross debt stood at Rs 1.93 trillion as of September, of which deferred spectrum payment obligations were Rs 1.08 trillion, and debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs 22,700 crore, according to an investor presentation.
A top executive at a private bank said the money that was going towards paying government dues would stay in the books and should be used for loan payment.
As for giving additional funds, bankers said some of the bank guarantees would be returned, releasing space for additional exposure. The conversion of dues into equity is just one element and banks will have to assess the plans. Vi raised about Rs 5,000 crore via short-term loans from lenders, including State Bank of India and Union Bank of India.
A senior public sector bank executive said this is essentially bridge funding to meet immediate liabilities.
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