ICICI tops list of FI sanctions to telcom sector

by Edsel Mascarenhas    Oct 08, 2003

ICICI has topped the list of FIs in terms of sanctions to the Telcom sector by end of last fiscal.

According to figures published by Telcom Regulatory Autority of India (Trai), ICICI tops the list of FIs in terms of sanctions to the Telcom sector with its cumulative exposure to the sector touching Rs.6,823 crore by the end of the last fiscal.

Notably ICICIùs exposure to the sector is purely in the form of debt and it has not invested in the equity of any telcom companies so far.

IDBI comes a distant second with its cumulative sanctions touching Rs.3857.80 crore in 2002-03. Among FIs, IDBI has the highest equity participation of Rs.111 crore in the telecom sector. SBI too has a smaller equity exposure to the sector.

The Trai figures reveal that the disbursement of debt and equity to the telecom sector by the FIs aggregated by Rs.12,732 crore and Rs.210 crore respectively till first half of 2003. This means that the actual exposure of FIs to the telecom sector stood at about Rs.12,942 crore as on 31st.March 2003.

The cumulative sanctioned exposure of domestic FIs to the telecom sector in the form of debt from 1988-89 to 2002-03 is a whopping Rs.17,730 crore. The FIs exposure to the sector in terms of equity stood at Rs.239.94 core as on March 2003.

“Telecon is one area which all institutions are bullish about. Unlike the power sector, there is no concern about payment guarantees as the sector is fully market driven. Good Telcos with high credit rating are hot favourites for FIs,” said a senior ICICI official.