India Inc's foreign borrowings fell by over 47 per cent in August this year to USD 1.75 billion, data from the Reserve Bank showed on Monday. The domestic companies had borrowed a total of USD 3.32 billion from overseas markets in August 2019, by way of external commercial borrowings (ECBs).
Of the total borrowings from overseas sources during the month under review, USD 1.61 billion was raised through ECBs, while the rest USD 145.74 million was raised by issuing rupee denominated bonds (RDBs) or masala bonds, showed the RBI's 'Data on ECB/FCCB for the month of August 2020'.
Splitting the data in the ECB category, it said a total of USD 1.57 billion was raised by various companies through the automatic route, while the rest USD 35.93 million came in through the approval route. The major borrowers in the automatic route of ECB included Reliance Sibur Elastomers, a manufacturer of chemicals and chemical products, which raised USD 339.42 million for refinancing of an earlier ECB.
Vijayapura Tollway raised USD 160 million for infrastructure development and China Steel Corporation India Private Limited USD 104.5 million for refinancing of an earlier ECB. BMW India Financial Services raised USD 88.72 million for on-lending purpose; Birla Carbon India (chemicals and products manufacturer) USD 50 million for refinancing of rupee loans; and Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Private Limited (manufacturer of computer, electronic and optical products) USD 45 million for import of capital goods.
Suzlon Energy Limited was the lone borrower through the approval route (USD 35.93 million). A total of eight firms issued masala bonds or RDBs, which included Ostro Mahawind Power Private Limited raising USD 78.6 million and Ostro Renewables Pvt Ltd USD 20.01 million.
Heramba Renewables Limited and Shreyas Solarfarms Limited raised USD 13.33 million and 13.32 million respectively, as per the data. No money was raised through masala bonds in August 2019.