India: Satin Creditcare Raises $10 Million in Foreign Debt

Jan 2015
India, January, 22 2015 - Delhi-based Satin Creditcare has raised $10 million, or about Rs 618 crore, in foreign debt, joining a rising group of microfinance firms raising money from abroad to diversify their funding sources.

"Since microfinance institutions (MFIs) have a constant need for capital, the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route offers us an opportunity to reduce our dependence on banks," said Jugal Kataria, CFO at Satin Creditcare, which is backed by MicroVest Capital and ShoreCap International.

WorldBusiness Capital, a Hartford, Connecticut-based lender, disbursed the money to Satin. The eight-year loan, partially guaranteed by Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government's development finance institution, was executed by Chennai-based IFMR Capital. It consists of 35% unsecured subordinated debt and 65% senior secured debt.

Senior debt is the first borrowed money that a company has to repay first if it goes out of business, but its rate of interest is lower than unsecured debt. "ECBs are not a route that have been tried by the MFI sector often, but we think it is the way forward for the sector," said Kshama Fernandes, CEO of IFMR Capital, which specialises in connecting MFIs and other players in the financial inclusion sector with debt markets. Satin's was the first ECB executed by IFMR. In August last year, it had executed a Rs 21-crore long-term tier-II nonconvertible debenture issue for Satin last August.

The RBI allowed MFIs to raise up to $10 million a year in external debt through the automatic route in 2011. Chennai-based Equitas Micro Finance and Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services have already raised funds from World Bank arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) through the ECB route.

ET reported earlier this week that Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial Services is raising Rs 1,600 crore from IFC and the Singapore government's sovereign wealth fund GIC. Late last year, Bangalore-based Janalakshmi Financial Services raised Rs 800 crore in a private equity round led by TPG.


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