The novel coronavirus pandemic (“Covid-19”) has brought about a new set of challenges for the Indian economy. While our economy successfully weathered the 2008 financial crisis, the current scenario has halted economic activity for most of the sectors. While the reasons for the previous and current crises are different, some trends are similar. One of these is the inability of borrowers to service debt.
The 2008 financial crisis was characterised by defaults in various debt instruments such as term loans, external commercial borrowings and FCCBs. To combat this, the Reserve Bank of India introduced a host of measures such as relaxation on restructuring of various loan accounts and allowance to firms to use rupee amounts to buy back FCCBs. Simultaneously, in order to create a vibrant market for corporate bonds, the Securities and Exchange Board of India introduced the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue and Listing of Debt Securities) Regulations, 2008 (the “SEBI ILDS Regulations”).
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