Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SBI  is selling the USL shares above the open offer price of Rs.1,440 per share,  which has reduced the net debt of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd to some extent. Lower interst rate regime in future will also help it substantially
[Editor: Banks are like "Kabuli-wallas", so what is new, if they use all the coercive practices to recover their dues? Now the government has given them a "Brahma--astra", known as SARFESI Act, which like draconian TADA Act is used for loan recovery. I have seen in Bombay, how people suffer and cry when being throw out of their apartments, and the latter auctioned on their face; if they became NPAs. The Banks have earlier used death threats also to recover loans from people, which led the RBI to warn some banks like ICICI Bank Ltd. CLICK HERE  A friend of mine joked some days back, and said, "Indian Banks might not hesitate to sell your wife and daughter, if they are kept as mortgage, against some unpaid loans"]
Mumbai: Banks will continue to sell pledged shares of Kingfisher airline and invoke all other securities till they get back the dues, SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said today. State Bank of India is the leader of consortium of lenders to grounded airline Kingfisher.

"We have given instructions to recover and enforce all the securities. Our intention is to sell everything...all means of recovery (will be employed)...nothing would escape. Till such time as we will get back our dues in full, we will press our full recourse on all the securities that we possess," he told reporters here.

It may be noted that airline promoters had unsuccessfully asked the Bombay High Court to prevent the banks from selling pledged shares.

When asked about the Rs 11,000-crore Diageo-USL deal - which reportedly was the reason why the KFA management approached the court - and if that will prevent banks from enforcing other actions, Chaudhuri replied in the negative.

Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya had signed a deal with the UK's Diageo to sell his controlling stake in United Spirits Ltd (USL). Diageo will also pick up another 26 per cent through mandatory open offer.

"We are now indifferent to that. Our first priority is to recover the loans... Any investor comes in with eyes open," he said.

He added that the banks are not hurting anybody's interests as they are selling the USL shares above the open offer price of Rs 1,440 per share.

"Open offer is at Rs 1,440, the current market price is higher, so we are not depressing the price," he said.

He said the banks will first sell the shares, which will be followed by other liquid assets, then fixed assets and finally the personal assets.

Chaudhuri, however, declined to answer on any specifics like the quantum of money recovered so far or the banks' expectation of how much of the Rs 7,500 crore outstanding they can recover from the airline or if legal notices under the stringent SARFESI Act have been sent.

SBI has the maximum exposure to Kingfisher at Rs 1,800 crore. The other lenders to the grounded airline are Punjab National Bank and IDBI Bank (Rs 800 crore each), BoI (Rs 650 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 550 crore), United Bank of India (Rs 430 crore), Central Bank of India (Rs 410 crore), UCO Bank (Rs 320 crore), Corporation Bank (Rs 310 crore), State Bank of Mysore (Rs 150 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 140 crore), Federal Bank (Rs 90 crore), Punjab and Sind Bank (Rs 60 crore) and Axis Bank Ltd (Rs 50 crore).

When asked about recent reports of revival of the airline grounded since October last year, Chaudhuri said the banks are out of patience.

"We are not very keen. I think we have waited long enough. And all other airlines with whom we have a transaction have submitted revival plans and worked on them. In this case, there is no serious evidence," he said.