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SREI Infra tumbles after RBI initiates special audit

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SREI Infrastructure Finance slumped 14.61% to Rs 5.73 after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) initiated a special audit of the company and its subsidiary.

In a BSE filing made after market hours on Friday, the company said that a special audit of SREI Infrastructure Finance and its subsidiary, Srei Equipment Finance is being undertaken by an auditor appointed by the RBI in exercise of its powers under Section 45 MA(3) of the RBI Act, 1934.

As per the said section, RBI may at any time by order conduct a special audit of the accounts of a NBFC, if it is of the opinion that it is necessary so to do in the public interest or in the interest of the non-banking financial company or in the interest of the depositors of such company. Usually, a special audit undertaken if there is a sharp deterioration in the quality of lender's book.

SREI holds a 3.34% stake in the Lakshmi Vilas Bank, which has been put under a 30-day moratorium by RBI.

Further, Brickwork Ratings (BWR) had downgraded the long-term ratings of SREI Infrastructure Finance (SIFL) on the innovative perpetual debt instrument to 'BWR BB' from 'BWR BBB-'/Negative while placing the ratings under credit watch with negative implications.

The credit ratings agency said that the rating downgrade was mainly driven by continued stress on asset quality in the equipment and infrastructure financing loan portfolios, significant decline in profitability and stretched liquidity position of the company on account of low collections. This, coupled with a decreasing asset base, average capitalisation with continued high gearnings levels and the challenging operating environment for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), had impacted SEFL's overall credit risk profile.

BWR has also taken note that the company had restructured the coupon payments of perpetual debt instruments by taking the consent of the investors prior to the due date in line with RBI guidelines.

The ratings are placed under Credit watch with negative implications considering the expected ALM mismatch arising due to one time restructuring (OTR) being made available to SEFL's borrowers and the resultant adverse impact on SEFL's liquidity and debt servicing capability.

"Further, the company's earning profile is susceptible to high credit costs as the company is yet to provide a COVID 19 impact as per RBI guidelines, Brickwork Ratings said in a statement.

SREI Infrastructure Finance (SIFL), with its wholly owned subsidiary SREI Equipment Finance (SEFL), has a presence majorly in the financing of the infrastructure sector and construction and mining equipment (CME), besides the financing of IT, medical and farm equipment and loans against property (LAP).

On a consolidated basis, the company reported 91.4% drop in net profit to Rs 4.75 crore on a 17% fall in total income to Rs 1,182.21 crore in Q2 FY21 over Q2 FY20.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, November 23 2020. 10:21 IST