KKR likes India’s new Bankruptcy Code
KKR produced a white paper on the subject after co-chairman Henry Kravis told Narendra Modi that India lacked proper bankruptcy laws during the latter’s first visit to the U.S. in 2014, soon after becoming prime minister.
“I have never seen a government move so fast,” Kravis said. “He (Modi) was back in New York six-nine months later and he told me ‘we’re doing it’. And now what I hear from the lawyers is that it is a pretty darn good code.” The bankruptcy code was approved by India’s Parliament in May last year.
The Economic Times says: Kravis’ prescription is this: Quantify bad loans as per their fair-market value and not by oft-used matrices like replacement costs, and sell them to asset reconstruction companies with a haircut. That will affect the net worth of the banks and that’s where the government needs to step in to recapitalize balance sheets by selling shares to lower state ownership to below 51%.
“You just place a threshold and say across every industry if the loan is substandard by a certain value or percentage then it goes into the pool and the government tells the banks that we bridge your equity. Banks have to go back to lending once again. In India, they are still the main source of capital.”