India: PNB Housing Finance raises $100m via ECBs from IFC

Photo: Reuters

PNB Housing Finance Ltd on Monday said it has raised $100 million (around Rs690 crore) from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, for on-lending to buyers in affordable housing projects.

“The investment was made under the central bank’s automatic route in the revamped external commercial borrowings (ECB) framework,” PNB Housing said in a BSE filing.

PNB Housing Finance Managing Director Sanjaya Gupta said, “This is the first ECB disbursement during the current financial year under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) automatic route. Several other ECB proposals are in the pipeline. The line of credit will not only enhance the liquidity but
will further balance our long-term ALM position as the facility is for five years.”

“The RBI has allowed us to borrow ECB up to $750 million annually under the automatic route and considering the strong fundamentals and inherent growth of the company, we are hopeful that in the coming months our company will further utilise the facility,” he added.

India needs to build 11 million homes in the affordable segment. At an average of 4.6 people
per household, the 11 million units gap implies that nearly 50 million people do not have
adequate housing.

“To support the Indian government’s vision of Housing for All by 2022, our country strategy places a strong emphasis on the affordable housing sector. Our partnership with PNB Housing Finance will help them further expand to smaller towns and cities and reach low-income customers with loans to buy homes and help raise their living standards,” IFC South Asia Manager – Financial Institutions Group Hemalata Mahalingam said.

IFC assisted the company in raising its first foreign exchange financing for on-lending to buyers of affordable housing. Later, IFC helped the company to issue the first green bond in India for financing construction of green buildings.