HDFC announces merger with HDFC Bank, shares surge
Housing loan major Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) on Monday said its Board has approved merger of its wholly owned subsidiaries HDFC Investments and HDFC Holdings with HDFC Bank.
Upon the merger scheme becoming effective, the subsidiaries or associates of HDFC will become subsidiaries or associates of HDFC Bank, it said in a regulatory filing to the exchanges.
The proposed transaction is to create a large balance sheet and net-worth that would allow greater flow of credit into the economy.
It will also enable underwriting of larger ticket loans, including infrastructure loans, an urgent need of the country, said the filing.
The merger of India’s largest housing finance company (HFC) HDFC with the largest private sector bank in India HDFC Bank will enable seamless delivery of home loans and leverage on the large base of over 68 million customers of HDFC Bank and inter alia improve the pace of credit growth, the filing added.
“Post the combination, HDFC Bank’s customers will be offered mortgages as a core product in a seamless manner. HDFC Bank will also leverage the long tenor mortgage relationship to offer varied credit and deposit products enabled through better insights through-out the customer life-cycle,” it said.
The Boards of the two entities believe that the merger will create long term value for all stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders.
The amalgamation of the two entities will provide further impetus to the Government’s vision of “Housing for All”, it said.
HDFC Bank has a presence in more than 3,000 cities/towns through its 6,342 branches, with about 50 per cent of these branches in semi-urban/rural geographies in the country.
Leveraging this distribution might, the proposed transaction would broaden the home loan offering, synonymous with the national objective of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana that intends to provide housing for all.
“This is a merger of equals. We believe that the housing finance business is poised to grow in leaps and bounds due to the implementation of RERA, infrastructure status to the housing sector, government initiatives like affordable housing for all, amongst others,” said Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC.
“Over the last few years, various regulations for banks and NBFCs have been harmonised, thereby enabling the potential merger. Further, the resulting larger balance sheet would allow underwriting of large ticket infrastructure loans, accelerate the pace of credit growth in the economy, boost affordable housing and increase the quantum of credit to the priority sector, including credit to the agriculture sector.”
Reacting to the merger news, shares of HDFC and HDFC Bank rose as high as 14 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, during the opening session.
Adani Groups Repays Loans Worth $2.65 Billion, Along With Interest Payment Of $203 Million
Embattled Adani Group on Monday said it has repaid loans aggregating USD 2.65 billion to complete a prepayment programme to cut overall leverage in an attempt to win back investor trust post a damning report of a US short seller. In a Credit Note released on Monday, Adani Group said it has made a full prepayment of USD 2.15 billion of loans that were taken by pledging shares in the conglomerate’s listed firms and also another USD 700 million in loans taken for the acquisition of Ambuja Cement.
Interest Payment of $203 Million
“The prepayment was done along with interest payment of USD 203 million,” it added. Further, the credit update states that the promoters completed the sale of shares in four listed group entities to GQG Partners, a leading global investment firm, for USD 1.87 billion (Rs 15,446 crore).
“The deleveraging programme testifies to the strong liquidity management and capital access at sponsor level even in volatile market conditions, supplementing the solid capital prudence adopted at all portfolio companies,” Adani Group said in the credit update. US short-seller Hindenburg Research in January released a damning report alleging accounting fraud and stock price manipulation at Adani Group, triggering a stock market rout that had erased about USD 145 billion in the conglomerate’s market value at its lowest point.
Adani Group’s Comeback Strategy
Adani Group has denied all allegations by Hindenburg and is plotting a comeback strategy. The group has recast its ambitions as well as prepaid some loans to assuage investors. The credit update further highlights major improvements in key financial metrics – the portfolio’s combined Net Debt to EBITDA ratio has decreased from 3.81 in FY22 to 3.27 in FY23, run rate EBITDA surged from Rs 50,706 crore in FY22 to Rs 66,566 crore in FY23.
The credit update further states that the banking lines of Adani Group continue to show confidence by disbursing new debt and rolling over existing lines of credit. Moreover, rating agencies both domestic and international rating agencies have reaffirmed their ratings in all the group companies.
Debt Service Cover Ratio (DSCR) has improved to 2.02x during FY23 from 1.47x during FY22. Gross Assets increased to Rs 4.23 lakh crore, up by Rs 1.06 lakh crore. Gross Asset / Net Debt cover has improved to 2.26x in FY23 from 1.98x in FY22.
Continued investments in core infra projects
Continued investments in core infra with gross assets of Rs 3.77 lakh crore (89 per cent of the portfolio) provide long-term multi-decadal visibility of cash flow, it said, adding cash balance was higher by 41.5 per cent at Rs 40,351 crore against Rs 28,519 crore. Free Flow from operations – FFO – (EBITDA less finance cost less tax paid) was Rs 37,538 crore.
Cash Balance and FFO (together at Rs 77,889 crore) are much higher than debt maturity cover for FY24, FY25 and FY26 of Rs 11,796 crore, Rs 32,373 crore and Rs 16,614 crore, respectively, at the combined portfolio level.
How Ruias are reinventing the Essar Group
For the last three years, the Mumbai headquartered Essar Group, founded by Shashi and Ravi Ruia, has deliberately kept a low profile. They were busy putting into action their deleveraging and monetisation strategy to free the group of all its debt and start on a clean state.
And they managed to do just that by monetising assets worth $25 bn by selling Essar Oil, Essar Steel, Essar Power and Essar Ports. Perhaps, for the first time in the country such huge debts have been paid off by a business house.
Leading from the front is the 54-year old Prashant Ruia, director, Essar Capital. He is working at a feverish pace to take the group to the next level. Between June 2022 and March 2023 the group made several big announcements. The group, it seems, is now approaching all its businesses with the mindset of a PE player.
According to sources, “The group has paid off 100% debt. Basically, the group has put in place the strategy of deleveraging and monetisation of assets, consolidation of operating companies, and getting into a new growth cycle.” And that is paying rich dividends.
Now with all debts paid, the mood at the Essar House is upbeat. The group has chalked up ambitious plans to be in the same areas where they have domain expertise. It will be Energy, Infrastructure & Logistics, Metals & Mining, and Technology & Retail.
To go with it, the group has identified three themes: Decarbonisation, Decentralisation and Digitisation. For instance, decarbonisation means the group wants to move away from fossil fuel to green fuel. To make this happen, Essar Oil UK, a 10 MTPA refinery acquired in 2011 which serves 16% of UK’s road fuel demand has entered into an agreement with Vertex Hydrogen. Vertex is part of Essar Energy Transition which is planning an investment of $3.6 bn in India ($1.2 bn) and the UK ($2.4 bn) to develop a range of low carbon energy transition projects which would include blue and green hydrogen, biofuels, battery storage, solar PV etc.
The investment in the UK will play a key role in supporting their government’s decarbonisation strategy.
Essar 2.0 sees the group focusing on transitioning existing assets to green businesses, while investing in creating new-age ESG-centric sustainable businesses.
Besides oil refineries and storage terminals in the UK, it has exploration and production facilities in Vietnam; Iron ore plant in USA, coal mine in Indonesia. It has entered into an agreement with Saudi Arabia to set up a 4 MTPA greenfield steel plant in Ras Al-Khair. In India, it has plans to set up 14 MTPA iron ore pellet plants close to Paradip port, Odisha and triple its CBM productions in West Bengal.
Essar Group which currently has a turnover of $15 bn and $1 bn profit will see most of its new initiatives becoming operational by December 2025 or early 2026. Looks like the second innings of the Ruias will be better than the first.
Tom Cruise ‘would love to meet someone special’ after three failed marriages
Hollywood star Tom Cruise has been married to Hollywood stars Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, with the actor most recently being romantically linked to Shakira.
The unlikely pair met at the Formula 1 Grand Prix and while it seems Tom was “very interested in pursuing” the singer, she wasn’t so keen, reports
A source has revealed Tom’s friends have now given him some dating advice as he searches for “the one.”
The comments come after it was revealed Shakira “begged” Tom to “stop flirting with her” as the situation became “too much” for her following her painful split with Gerard Pique.
The 46-year-old singer and Barcelona defender, 36, announced their shock breakup in June last year after 12 years together.
Gerard has since moved on with Clara Chia Marti, 24.
“She doesn’t want to embarrass or upset him, but there’s no attraction or romance on her part – she was just being friendly. She’s flattered but not interested,” an insider told Heat Magazine.
The insider added that Tom has been searching for the right woman for years and said he has “the highest standards” and won’t settle for “second best” in a potential lover.
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