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MFs unlikely to get priority in DHFL refund, haircut imminent: Experts

Experts are also of the view that the fund houses would have to take a haircut, much against their wish of incurring any such paring down of their refunds


IANS New Delhi
Even as mutual funds have been impatient regarding their dues from crisis-hit DHFL, which will soon go the insolvency way, legal experts say that it is unlikely that the funds would be the first in the list of creditors to get back their dues.
They are also of the view that the fund houses would have to take a haircut, much against their wish of incurring any such paring down of their refunds.
Mutual fund houses want the Wadhawans, the promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL), to arrange funds and pay back their dues and are likely to raise the issue in the committee formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to administer DHFL.
"I don't think it is possible legally. Any resolution has to be comprehensive, it cannot be that one party gets the money out of the system, and obviously if the CIRP process has started, then any payment has to be as per the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) regulation itself, " said Manoj Kumar, a partner at law firm Corporate Professionals.
"The company cannot redeem any part, during the CIRP. even if it happens before the commencement of the CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process), even then, if they make the payment, it will be made on a priority as per the provisions of the IBC," he added.
Sector experts are of the view that fund houses cannot themselves prsessure the promoters for refund. They feel it is too late for them to take up the matter as the RBI has superceded the company board and will now move for insolvency.
Last week, citing governance concerns, the RBI superseded the Board of Directors of the housing lender and said that it intends to shortly initiate the process of resolution of the company. Promoters hold around 39 per cent stake in DHFL.
The central bank appointed R. Subramaniakumar, former MD and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank, as the administrator of the company. One of the members of the committee is N.S. Venkatesh, the Chief Executive of the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), which has raised hopes among mutual fund firms of extracting the highest possible returns with least haircut.
Estimates show that the housing firm NBFC owes around Rs 84,000 crore as of July 6, to banks, the National Housing Board, mutual funds and bondholders.
As per an inspection report conducted by the Regional Director (Western Region) of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, DHFL has a total loan portfolio of Rs 95,615 crore, the Finance Ministry informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.
DHFL has been going through a liquidity crisis for around a year now and the promoters of the company have also been accused of fraud and siphoning off money.

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First Published: Nov 27 2019 | 1:50 PM IST

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