Adani Group likely to repay short-term commercial paper borrowings: Bankers

The Adani Group is unlikely to roll over the debt of Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports as it comes due, two bankers said

Published - February 14, 2023 01:03 pm IST - MUMBAI

Representational image of the Adani group logo in Ahmedabad

Representational image of the Adani group logo in Ahmedabad | Photo Credit: Reuters

Two large companies within the embattled Adani Group are likely to repay their short-term commercial paper (CP) debt as they come due over the next few months, instead of rolling them over as is normal, two merchant bankers and a company official directly familiar with the matter said.

The two group companies have about ₹50 billion ($605 million) worth of CP due to mature through March, data shows, while exchange data shows the flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd has redeemed a total of ₹2.5 billion of CP since January 25.

That is a day after U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research accused the group of improper use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation – allegations the group has denied – that sparked about a $120 billion loss in the group's market value on concerns including about its ability to refinance debt.

Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd regularly raise funds by issuing CPs – short-term debt instruments issued to meet working capital requirements.

"We will repay the CPs as and when they mature and are currently not looking to tap the short-term debt market," an official with one of the companies said on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

The official said payments are being made as the securities mature and the company has not got any requests for early redemptions.

"All payments are being made as per schedule," an Adani group spokesperson said in an e-mail, but did not respond to queries on whether investors are seeking early redemption.

Adani Ports has CPs worth ₹35 billion due to mature through end March, data from information service provider Prime Database showed.

Adani Enterprises has CP worth close to ₹15 billion due to mature over February-March and more than ₹2 billion worth due for redemption from April through January 2024, the data showed.

The Adani Group is unlikely to roll over this debt as it comes due, two bankers said on condition of anonymity as they are not permitted to speak to the media.

"Market sentiment is such that people will be cautious to immediately roll over CPs, and would prefer to cash out. So, we may see them (Adani Group) staying away from the market for some time," said one banker, who regularly arranges debt issuances for the group.

A second banker, who advises the conglomerate on local borrowings, added the group has not reached out to its bankers asking for a rollover.

"The Adani group generally gets in touch with bankers some days prior to the maturing CPs but has stopped any sort of intimation, hinting that they may look to repay the existing CP holders," this person said.

Apart from short-term borrowings, Adani Enterprises has not moved forward with plans to launch its debut retail bond issue of up to ₹10 billion, while Adani Green Energy Ltd has also stayed put on a planned ₹1.5 billion, 10-year bond offering, according to bankers, including the two mentioned earlier.

"There's been no communication from the companies on previously proposed bond issuances," said a merchant banker with a brokerage firm and directly involved in the arrangement.

The Adani Group spokesperson denied media reports that these bond issues have been scrapped, saying this is "speculation" and "not true" in a reply to Reuters' mail.

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