Stressed NBFCs, HFCs seek Rs 14,000 crore under special liquidity scheme

Financing requests of close to Rs 14,000 crore have been received under the Rs 30,000-crore special liquidity scheme for stressed and whose financial health deteriorated further due to the COVID-19 crisis, the finance ministry said on Friday.

The scheme was launched on July 1.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has provided funds for the scheme by subscribing to government-guaranteed special securities issued by a trust set up by SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAP).

The scheme is being implemented by SLS Trust, the SPV set up by SBICAP.

“As on July 23, five proposals involving an amount of Rs 3,090 crore have already been sanctioned. Further, 35 more applications have been received seeking financing up to Rs 13,776 crore, which are under process,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) came under stress following a series of defaults by IL&FS group firms in September 2018.

“Any NBFC including Microfinance Institutions registered with RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (excluding those registered as Core Investment Companies) and any HFC registered with the National Housing Bank (NHB) under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987 which is complying with certain specified conditions are eligible to raise funding from this facility,” it said.

The special liquidity scheme will remain open for three months for making subscriptions by the trust, it said.

The scheme permits both primary and secondary market purchases of debt and seeks to address the short term liquidity issues of non-banking financial companies/housing finance companies, it said.

The instruments will be commercial papers and non-convertible debentures with a residual maturity of not more than three months and rated as investment grade.

Therefore, it said, those market participants who are looking to exit their standard investments with a residual maturity of 90 days may also approach the SLS Trust.