External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy Update – May 2014

External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy: Refinance / Repayment of Rupee loans raised from domestic banking system.

Refinancing/repayment of rupee loans raised from domestic banking system has undergone a change. Earlier, eligible Indian companies were permitted to refinance / repay the Rupee loans, raised by them from the domestic banking system, by raising ECB from recognized lenders. However, as per Circular issued by Department of Banking Operations and Development (DBOD) of RBI dated 22 April 2014, repayment of rupee loans availed of from domestic banking system through ECBs extended by overseas branches / subsidiaries of Indian banks is not permitted. In this context, Foreign Exchange Department of RBI has clarified that eligible Indian companies will not be permitted to raise ECB from overseas branches / subsidiaries of Indian banks for the purpose of refinance / repayment of the rupee loans raised from the domestic banking system in respect of the following:

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a) Scheme of take-out financing

b) Repayment of existing Rupee loans for companies in infrastructure sector

c) Spectrum allocation

d) Repayment of Rupee loans

The circular takes immediate effect.

External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy: Re-schedulement of ECB – Simplification of procedure.

To simplify, RBI has prescribed certain conditions, on the satisfaction of which Authorized Dealer Bank (AD Bank) are permitted to approve changes / modifications in the drawdown / repayment schedule of the ECBs already availed, both under the approval and the automatic routes.

a) Changes, if any, in all-in-cost (AIC) is only on account of the change in average maturity period (AMP) due to re-schedulement of ECB and post re-schedulement, the AIC and the AMP are in conformity with applicable guidelines. There should not be any increase in the rate of interest and no additional cost (in foreign currency / Indian Rupees) should be involved.

b) The re-schedulement is allowed only once, before the maturity of the ECB.

c) If the lender is an overseas branch of a domestic bank, the prudential norms applicable on account of re-schedulement should be complied with.

d) The changes on account of re-schedulement should be reported to Department of Statistics and Information Management (DSIM) through revised Form 83.

e) The ECB should be in compliance with all applicable guidelines related to eligible borrower, recognised lender, AIC, AMP, end-uses, etc.

f)  The borrower should not be in the default / caution list of RBI and should not be under the investigation of Directorate of Enforcement.

However, any elongation / rollover in the repayment on expiry of the original maturity of the ECB requires the prior approval of the Reserve Bank

The circular takes immediate effect.

 Disclaimer : This is not a legal opinion and should not be construed as one. Please speak with your attorney for any advice.

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