Indian companies are reducing debt on their books and increasing their cash balance. Firms are selling assets and avoiding investment at this stage to be in a more stable position. According to the numbers compiled by this newspaper, Reliance Industries reduced debt by about Rs 85,000 crore last financial year. In percentage terms, Steel Authority of India Ltd led the way and lowered debt by over 30 per cent during the same period. The deleveraging process, however, is not limited to large companies. The Reserve Bank of India’s latest Financial Stability Report, for instance, showed that the debt-to-equity ratio for 1,360 listed private non-financial companies came down from over 22 per cent in the second half of 2019-20 to 19.6 per cent during the comparable period in 2020-21. Meanwhile, the share of cash in assets during the same period went up from 4.4 per cent to 5.3 per cent.
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First Published: Tue, July 27 2021. 23:37 IST