Indian Firms Risk Dollar Debt Default as Rupee Slides

Another region with a private sector dollar short to worry about.

Seems the world is short dollars and euro?

Indian Firms Risk Dollar Debt Default as Rupee Slides

By James Fontanella-Khan

November 29 (FT) — Dozens of Indian companies are coming under financial stress after the sharp fall of the rupee against the dollar during the past few months made once-cheap loans in the US currency much more expensive, analysts have warned.

Indian companies face an overall short-term foreign debt maturity of $16bn for the year ending in March 2012 – according to Crisil, the Indian subsidiary of the US credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s – the majority of which is US dollar-denominated.

The most common forms of the debt are foreign currency convertible bonds, which can either be converted into a lucrative stake in the issuer on maturity, which is attractive if the issuer’s shares rise, or simply repaid in full.

Many Indian companies resorted to the FCCBs as a convenient way to raise cheap debt when the country’s stock markets were gripped by exuberance between 2005 and 2008, with the main Sensex index peaking in November last year at more than 21,000 points.

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