India’s Dewan Housing posts 1st quarter loss

Mortgage finance corporation Dewan Housing posts its first quarterly loss in more than a decade amounting to US$324 million. (AFP pic)

MUMBAI: Beleaguered Indian shadow lender Dewan Housing Finance Corporation posted its first quarterly loss in more than a decade, missed interest payments and cast doubt on its ability to continue as a going concern.

DHFL posted a loss of 22.23 billion rupees (US$324 million) for the quarter ended March compared with 1.34 billion rupees in net income a year ago, it said in a stock-exchange filing.

That would be its first loss in data going back to June 2008.

The financier also said in a separate filing that it missed interest payments amounting to 480 million rupees due last week.

This isn’t the first time the mortgage lender has missed interest payments.

It missed payments earlier this month and in June, following which its credit rating was downgraded.

Mumbai-based Dewan has been trying to sell assets to raise funds, while its shares have tumbled more than 70% this year amid a credit crunch faced by shadow lenders.

“The company’s ability to raise funds has been substantially impaired and the business has been brought to a standstill with there being minimal/virtually no disbursements,” following substantial financial stress and credit downgrades, it said.

“These developments may raise a significant doubt on the ability of the company to continue as a going concern.”

Dewan Housing was among the worst hit in the wake of defaults by financier Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, which pushed up financing costs and made it harder for non-bank financing companies to access the bond market.

Investor confidence was shaken after IL&FS defaulted for the first time in June 2018, shutting the door for bank loans for many non-banking finance companies.

Dewan said it’s taking “active steps” to monetise its assets and is in discussions with multiple Indian banks and international financial institutions to sell off its retail and wholesale portfolios.

It’s also in discussions with lenders to restructure its borrowings and is in talks on a stake sale by the founders to a strategic partner with further equity infusion, it said.

The company said it has met with the consortium of bankers who have agreed to enter into an inter-creditor agreement for a potential restructuring of its liabilities.

It’s in the process of submitting a resolution plan to the lenders, who are expected to give an in-principle approval to the plan by the end of July.