Mortgage lender PNB Housing Finance has raised Rs 690 crore ($100 million) from International Finance Corporation (IFC) via the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route to not only boost its liquidity position but to also balance the company’s long-term asset liability management position. The company also said it will use the funds for on-lending to buyers in the affordable housing finance projects.
This is the maiden fundraising via the ECB route in 2019-20 by PNB Housing Finance. The company further said that other ECB proposals are in the pipeline.
Sanjaya Gupta, managing director of PNB Housing Finance, said, “The fully-hedged facility has come at a landed cost that is much lower than the domestic pricing for similar tenures.”
“Raising of ECB under the present market environment and that too from a multilateral financial institution like the IFC demonstrates the strength of PNB Housing Finance and the faith of the lending community in the sector,” added Gupta.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in January this year, reduced the maturity tenor of ECBs, increased borrowing limits, and removed qualification restrictions for companies wanting to borrow funds from abroad. It effectively allows finance companies to borrow money from the overseas market for up to $750 million in a fiscal year.
“The RBI has allowed us to borrow ECB up to $750 million annually under the automatic route. Considering the strong fundamentals and inherent growth of the company, we are hopeful that in the coming months, our company will further utilise the facility,” said Gupta.
“To support the government’s vision of housing for all by 2022, our country strategy places a strong emphasis on the affordable housing sector,” said Hemalata Mahalingam, manager–financial institutions group, IFC South Asia.