Crisis-hit YES Bank said it will disclose its October-December results by mid-March, at least a month after the deadline, as the private sector lender is in talks with potential investors for a much-needed cash infusion.
For listed companies, regulation 33 of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, calls for publishing quarterly earnings within 45 days from the end of the relevant quarter. Going by the revised date put forth by YES Bank—March 14—it will take up to 74 days from the end of the December quarter.
“As you are aware, the bank is currently engaged in capital raising,” it said in a filing with the exchanges, explaining the reason behind the delay. ” The bank also disclosed that it has received non-binding expressions of interest (EOIs) from several prominent investors, including J.C. Flowers & Co., Tilden Park Capital Management, OHA (U.K.)— part of Oak Hill Advisors, and Silver Point Capital.
“The bank and its financial advisors are currently in discussions with these investors on the commercial terms, including pricing, of their investments which, it may be noted, will be subject to certain conditions and receipt of requisite approvals, including regulatory approvals with respect to the size of the stake to be acquired, as well as necessary dispensations with regard to applicable pricing guidelines,” YES Bank said.
The exchange intimation added that the bank and its management is also working with investment bankers, legal and accounting advisers, investors, and others on due diligence commissioned for potential new investors.
Meanwhile, credit rating agency India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) downgraded the bank’s long-term issuer rating to ‘IND A-’ from ‘IND A’, while maintaining it on Rating Watch Negative (RWN).
In its statement, Ind-Ra said that the downgrade reflects the continued delay and inconclusive quantum of the anticipated equity infusion in YES Bank. “Ind-Ra believes this could adversely impact the bank’s franchise and potentially create challenges on asset and liability side,” the rating agency said.
While Ind-Ra clarified that the liquidity position of the bank seemed adequate at the end-September 2019 (liquidity coverage ratio of 114%), the rating agency believes that in the absence of any swift capital raise the bank’s ability to manage its asset and liability maturities could get tested further. Ind-Ra also said that raising sizeable capital in the very near term could be challenging and could require various regulatory and other approvals.
The delay in YES Bank’s capital raising exercise is also marred by uncertainty regarding the quantum and timing. Initially, in FY20, the bank had planned to raise capital of over $1.2 billion, which was enhanced to $2 billion during the year. In the recent past, the bank’s board had rejected the binding term sheets of $1.2 billion offered by Canadian investor SPGP Group/Erwin Singh Braich.
Additionally, the decision to consider the binding term sheet of $500 million by Citax Investment Group is yet to be finalised by the board. “Various approvals that the bank and/or the investors may require could extend the timeline of the proposed equity infusion,” Ind-Ra said.
Given the asset quality stress of the bank, coupled with the uncertainties around its equity stake sale, YES Bank’s share prices have tumbled 89.8% from its 52-week high price of ₹285.9 on April 3 to ₹29.05 on October 1 last year. In February so far, YES Bank’s share prices saw the month’s high and low prices of ₹45 and ₹34.1 – a gap down of 24.2%.
Given the state of YES Bank’s heavily eroded stock price, its stake sale will be at a very low price and will have to be later substantiated by a possible rights issue to shore up its capital base. As of December 31, 2019, a mix of 238 foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) hold 15.17% in the bank, 25 mutual funds (MFs) hold 5.09%, and Life Insurance Corporation of India 8.06%. The fact that over 1.61 million retail investors hold a total of 47.96% in the private bank could make a possible rights issue difficult.