Current Liquidity Crisis and M&A

Investment Banking

The financial crisis of NBFCs a major concern
For a long time, various corporations, including insurance firms, had made investments through short-term instruments in the Infrastructure Finance Company IL&FS, which has to led to a significant liquidity crunch today. Amidst this scenario, the Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) have been majorly affected by the current liquidity crisis in India. The relationship between the Government and RBI is going through a rough phase as well due to the prevailing circumstances. Adding to the tension is the ban on using Aadhaar information for microlending during December 2018.
Interference of RBI to save IL & FS from the liquidity crunch
The reports from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) states that the total debts of IL&FS as of 2017-2018 balance sheet stands at INR 63,000 crores today. The NBFCs were expecting a ray of hope from the RBI, but to their surprise, the reserve bank imposed more rigid rules and regulations for risk management, and asset-liability structures. In the last quarter of 2018, the RBI had announced to inject INR 40,000 crore to help the soaring funds through Government securities into the system.
The problems faced by NBFCs are mostly attributed to their dependencies in short-term borrowings and long-term lending loans to builders and real estate players. Therefore RBI's ruling enforces more disciplined liquidity management in the future is a welcoming approach. However, the point to be concerned is the unknown course of action for the NBFCs to get out of the present liquidity crisis without which implementing new measures is difficult.
The financial crunch of the NBFCs has affected the loans against the property market in the fiscal year 2019 in India. A secured loan where one party pledges a property with a lender and borrow against it is a Loan Against Property (LAP). In a report from the reporting agency, India Ratings and Research stated that the weak LAP in FY19 is mainly due to lack of strong emotions on the property market and the liquidity crunch faced by NBFCs.
An insight into global M&A
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) World Investment Report of 2019 release states that there is a substantial decline in the global FDI by 13% in 2018 which is a third consecutive decline. The slide in global FDI is  USD 1.3T in 2018 from USD 1.5T in 2017. However, India witnessed a 6% growth in FDI in 2018 to 42B. This growth is attributed to the activities in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, communication, production, and financial service sector.
The growth of e-commerce in India is expected to increase tentatively by a large extent. It is estimated that India's e-commerce transactions to reach USD200B by 2026. Further, the trending online retail businesses coupled with telecommunication growth has leveraged the increase in cross-border M&As in India to USD 33B in 2018 from USD 23B in 2017.
The domestic M&A emerging as a life saver
A blockbuster merger was by the American multinational retail corporation, Walmart and India's largest fashion e-commerce giant Flipkart. The telecommunication alliances and deals were worth USD 2B that collectively associates deals from Vodafone and American Tower. India's blooming year for M&As was 2018, after which the first quarter of FY2019 has been low. The reason for this subdued effect is attributed to the gloomy global M&A market.
The quarterly report figures indicated a fall in M&A in Q1CY19 to $9.9B from $21.6b in Q1CY18. However, the domestic deals were a breather for India, the most significant being the merger between Bandhan bank and Gruh Finance, which was a $3.2B deal. Another agreement was between GMR airports, and Tata group led Consortium, which amounted to $1.2B. While Japan and Germany were favorite partners for cross-border M&A, the US remained at the top of the chart with 14 inbounds and 14 outbound deals with India. The Indian business executives are high on confidence that one-third of them are expected to undertake M&A in 2019.
To Sum Up
The backup of domestic consolidation for India and continued support of interests from FDI is considered a root cause for having a stable M&A in the future. Given the weak sentiment in the bond market, the current liquidity crisis may remain stubborn for NBFCs at the present moment.
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