RBI may have to bail out Yes Bank if it fails to raise $2 billion by March 14
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking into all options as the fundraising deadline for Yes Bank approaches in less than 15 days according to a report by Mint.
- The apex banking institution is considering an interim bailout, sale of pooled assets or even a small take sale to public sector banks.
- The RBI fears that the fall of Yes Bank could trigger a larger domino effect in the banking industry.
Sources, on the condition of anonymity, told Business Insider that the bank cannot currently comment on the issue since any commentary related to capital raising will also have to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
While Yes Bank is confident that it will have things wrapped up by March 14, the RBI is keeping public sector banks on standby in case the deadline is overshot.
In addition to an interim bailout, intervention by the RBI could also include the sale of pooled assets to a state-run bank, according to the report. As a last resort, Yes Bank may also be forced to sell a small stake to a public sector bank for sustainable finance.
Why is the RBI so worried?
The RBI fears that the collapse of Yes Bank could trigger a domino effect pulling down other interlinked financial institutions with a dampening effect on the economy, which could worsen an already slow credit growth rate.
According to the latest data by the RBI, bank credit growth was at 8.5% in January this year — far below 13.5% from a year ago.
Yes Bank’s financial troubles came to light last year after the RBI did not extend the term of founder Rana Kapoor as the CEO in 2018. Ravneet Gill, the bank’s new CEO, has managed to raise one round of funds through a share sale to institutional investors.
For the next round, potential investors like JC Flowers & Co, Tilden Park Capital Management, OHA (UK) and Silver Point Capital have sent in their ‘non-binding’ expression of interest according to ET. Yes Bank also brought on former CEO of Deutsche Bank and president of Cantor Fitzgerlad Anshu Jain to help raise funds for the bank in February.
Sources, on the condition of anonymity, told Business Insider that negotiations are currently in the final stages and RBI intervention may not be necessary. However, others feel that the March 14 deadline is “overly optimistic”.
The fundraising exercise is also why the bank had to delay the announcement of its third-quarter results in February seeking a 45-day extension.
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