Rise in coronavirus infections may affect fundraising activity in India

D-Mart. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Fundraising activity for Indian companies has recovered after initially losing momentum because of the rapid spread of coronavirus infections, which has wreaked havoc in China and has also impacted South-East Asian countries, said two investment bankers.

Things could, however, worsen if the number of new infections rises sharply, particularly in Asian financial hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Initially, the spread of the virus had caused some disruption to deals, but in the last few weeks, things have improved,” said the first investment banker, who worked on a dollar bond offering last week.

Several large deals, whether equity stake sales or dollar bond offerings, have been closed by Indian companies, in the last couple of weeks.

In February, Avenue Supermarts Ltd, which runs the supermarket chain DMart, raised around $1 billion selling its shares. Companies such as Bharti Airtel and IIFL Finance Ltd have collectively raised more than $500 million through their respective foreign debt offerings. Also, Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd raised $1 billion through its debut dollar bond offering.

Physical roadshows in major Asian financial hubs have been affected, but as of now, most deals are being managed over calls with investors in these markets, the banker added. “If things don’t improve going ahead, then we could start seeing more impact on deals,” he said.

According to bankers, if the count of new coronavirus cases on a daily basis and the death count continues to grow in the coming days, then certain deals could start to see an impact, especially initial public offerings, which need a wider marketing effort.

The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic climbed to 1,665 after 142 more people died, mostly in the worst-hit Hubei province in China, and confirmed cases jumped to almost 70,000, officials said on Sunday.

“Lot of Hong Kong investors are saying that they’ll not be able to evaluate IPOs since they’re working from home and focusing on existing investments only,” the second investment banker said.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.