Non-performing assets (NPA), a euphemism for soured loans, have been weighing on Indian banks’ balance sheets for the past few years. The NPAs—which now hover around $150 billion—have crimped bank lending across sectors. This, in turn, has slowed new investments by the private sector and hurt overall economic growth.
To resolve this problem, the Reserve Bank of India and the government have introduced several initiatives over the years. These include Corporate Debt Restructuring, Joint Lender’s Forum, Strategic Debt Restructuring and the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets. However, these schemes haven’t been very successful.
The enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is the strongest measure taken yet. But it, too, has its downsides. And one year after the code came into effect, not a single case of insolvency has reached a conclusion.
The sharpening focus on the resolution of NPAs has motivated a lot of players in the stressed asset segment to come forward. These include special situation funds, private equity investors and strategic buyers. Again, these potential investors have thus far found it difficult to close transactions for a variety of reasons.
Similarly, asset reconstruction companies (ARCs)—which were formed to clean up banks’ balance sheets by acquiring bad loans and turn around loss-making but potentially viable companies—haven’t performed to the expectations.
What are the challenges that stressed asset investors are facing? What explains the below-par performance of the ARCs? And what can authorities do to resolve these problems?
To deliberate on these challenges and opportunities in the stressed asset segment, News Corp VCCircle is organising its first edition of the Stressed Asset Summit. The half-day summit will be attended by key stakeholders – investors, promoters, banks, legal experts, regulators, ARCs and insolvency resolution professionals.