Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Impending FCCB Conundrum

Foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) have been issued by Indian companies, whereby investors have the option to convert these debt instruments into equity. Such conversion would normally occur when the market price of equity shares at the time of conversion is higher than the conversion price. But, with the markets now moving in the wrong direction, it is unlikely that the FCCB holders will exercise their conversion options. That means they will likely redeem the FCCBs, which partake the nature of repayment of debt. An event less expected by Indian borrowers, this would not only impose huge financial burden on Indian borrowers (who have to raise the cash to meet their obligations), but could also result in various accounting and other related issues.

These aspects have been covered in detail in this column by Rajrishi Singhal in the Economic Times.

(For more on FCCBs, and how they are different from Foreign Currency Exchangeable Bonds (FCEBs), please see this earlier post)

Update – July 10, 2008: See also this column in the Hindu Business Line

1 comment:

Indraneil said...

Contrary to expectations leading foreign investors such as Goldman Sachs, Swiss Finance Corporation, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers are among those who have chosen to convert their FCCBs instead of redeeming.