RBI eases norms to refinance external commercial borrowings

Tags: News
The Reserve Bank today eased norms to refinance external commercial borrowings (ECB) and allowed banks to approve even those cases where the average maturity period (AMP) of fresh borrowings exceeds residual maturity of existing loan.

However, borrowers would be required to follow certain conditions to avail for a fresh ECB.

"In a review, it has been decided to simplify the procedure by delegating powers to banks to approve even those cases where the AMP of the fresh ECB is exceeding the residual maturity of the existing ECB under the automatic route," RBI said in a notification.

RBI said both the existing and fresh ECBs should be in compliance with the applicable guidelines, all-in-cost of fresh ECB should be less than the all-in-cost of existing ECB and consent of the existing lender should be available.

Among other conditions, refinancing is to be undertaken before the maturity of the existing ECB and borrower should not be in the default or caution list of RBI and should not be under the investigation of the Directorate of Enforcement.

It further said the overseas branches or subsidiaries of Indian banks will not be permitted to extend ECB for refinancing an existing ECB.

"This facility will be available even in those cases where existing ECBs were raised under the approval route subject to the amount of new ECBs being eligible to be raised under the automatic route," RBI said.

All other aspects of the ECB policy such as eligible borrower, recognised lender, permitted end-use, amount of ECB, all-in-cost, average maturity period, reporting arrangements would remain unchanged.

RBI said the new norms will come into force with immediate effect.

As per the extant norms, refinancing of existing ECB by raising fresh ECB at lower all-in-cost was permitted subject to the condition that the outstanding maturity of the original loan is maintained.

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