Bank of Baroda CEO willing to keep lending to Adani Group

Bank of Baroda will extend loans to the conglomerate if it meets the lender’s underwriting standards. PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI – One of India’s biggest state-backed lenders is willing to consider lending additional money to the beleaguered Adani Group, including for a project to remodel a slum that is among the world’s largest.

Bank of Baroda will extend loans to the conglomerate if it meets the lender’s underwriting standards, said its chief executive and managing director Sanjiv Chadha, adding that he is not concerned about the market volatility around Adani stocks.

The comments offer a degree of support for embattled billionaire Gautam Adani after some banks baulked at refinancing a US$500 million (S$668.3 million) bridge loan due in March.

That came after a report in January from short-seller Hindenburg Research sent the group’s assets tumbling.

More recently, investor sentiment received a boost when the conglomerate said it will address upcoming maturities.

“You have underwriting standards and you stick to them in good times as well as bad times,” Mr Chadha said in an interview.

He declined to elaborate on the bank’s overall exposure to the tycoon’s business empire.

Bank of Baroda’s exposure to the group is about a quarter of what is permitted under the central bank’s framework, Mr Chadha had said earlier in February.

Elsewhere, State Bank of India, the nation’s top lender by assets, said it has an exposure of about 270 billion rupees (S$4.36 billion) to companies in the Adani Group.

Bank of Baroda will consider extending loans to the group for its Dharavi redevelopment project, after Adani Group bid 50.7 billion rupees for the project to remodel the slum last year, Mr Chadha said. 

“This is subject to an extended due diligence and depends upon concentration limits,” he said. BLOOMBERG

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.