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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Almost two-thirds of CRISIL-rated mid-sized1 companies (standard accounts as on March 31, 2021) have become eligible for the restructuring window offered under the Resolution Framework 2.0 following the relaxation of aggregate debt-eligibility thresholds announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today, a CRISIL analysis shows.

Further, the on-tap liquidity window for contact-intensive sectors will help alleviate liquidity challenges faced by companies in these sectors.

Among a slew of measures aimed at mitigating the pandemic’s impact, the RBI has raised the aggregate debt threshold for struggling businesses to Rs 50 crore from Rs 25 crore and provided an on-tap liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crore to companies in the contact-intensive sectors.

CRISIL rates about 6,800 mid-sized companies (excluding financial sector entities). Of these ~4,700 are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), having bank loan exposure of up to Rs 50 crore, and are standard accounts as on March 31, 2021, making these eligible to avail of the restructuring.

As per the earlier aggregate debt threshold of Rs. 25 crore, only half of the CRISIL-rated mid-sized companies were eligible. But now, with the revised threshold, almost two-thirds have come under the ambit of the restructuring scheme.

Says Subodh Rai, Chief Ratings Officer, CRISIL Ratings Ltd, “The RBI’s relaxation in overall bank exposure threshold is timely, as it now increases the coverage of stressed companies that typically have weaker credit profiles. Three out of four companies eligible for restructuring have sub-investment category ratings, indicating their relatively weak ability to manage liquidity shocks. Rescheduling of loan repayments under the restructuring 2.0 window will provide interim relief to these companies against such liquidity shocks.”

The on-tap liquidity window for contact-intensive sectors such as hospitality, travel and tourism, and aviation ancillary services, which have borne the brunt of the second wave of the pandemic, is timely, too. Companies in these sectors are reeling under a demand shock – with the current quarter estimated to see a contraction of 30-50% sequentially – and will get a huge boost if a large part of the Rs 15,000 crore amount is disbursed by banks.

However, there is a possibility that only large existing borrowers in contact-intensive sectors actually benefit from this on-tap liquidity window as banks may have greater comfort with them. In the current environment, it is possible that a number of banks could be risk-averse and the benefit of on-tap liquidity facility may not, therefore, reach the smaller and lower-rated companies in these sectors fully. 

Further clarity will emerge once the banks come out with their updated policies post the RBI announcement. CRISIL will monitor the impact of the development on its rated credits on a case-to-case basis.

Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (I/C) virtually addressed the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, Gwalior’s event organised on the occasion of World Environment Day today. On this occasion, Patel virtually inaugurated the newly upgraded website of IITTM in 108 national & International languages, Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) communication seminar, aqua based adventure tourism ATLAS and also planted saplings.

Arvind Singh, Union Tourism Secretary; Rakesh Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT); Rupinder Brar, ADG, MOT and Gyan Bhushan, Economic Advisor to Tourism Ministry were also virtually present in this event.

Patel appreciated the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC)programme and gave his best wishes to the participants. Shri Patel also congratulated IITTM for the new website now available in large number of languages. Shri Patel said that Environment is the biggest asset we have and appealed to everyone to plant as many trees as possible. Along with this it is our duty to take care of the health of our environment so that we can live a healthy life. The Minister also added that it is our duty to preserve our environment for our future generation.

Singh appreciated the role of IITTM in the field of Tourism and expressed hope that the tourism sector will once again get a boost after the current pandemic wave is over.

2230 participants are taking s part in the current batch of Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) programme  and a total of 7546 people are registered for the programme. Batches of 25 participants each will undergo for 4 hours daily training for 7 days. After the evaluation, participants will receive certificates.

 

 

In a bid to support revival of sectors hit most by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a separate on-tap liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crore with a tenor of 3 years at the repo rate to provide liquidity support to the contact-intensive sectors like restaurants, hotels and those involved in the tourism sector, among others.

"In order to mitigate the adverse impact of the second COVID-19 wave on contact intensive sectors, a separate liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crore is being opened till March 31, 2022, with tenors of up to 3 years at the repo rate," Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said.

Under the scheme, banks can provide fresh lending support to hotels, restaurants, tourism and travel operators, adventure and heritage facilities, aviation ancillary services (ground handling and supply chains) and other services that include private bus operators, car repair services, rent a car services providers, event/conference organisers, spa clinics and beauty parlours and saloons. These sectors have seen the biggest impact due to the second wave as authorities started imposing lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.

These sectors will be permitted to park their surplus liquidity, equivalent to the size of the loan book created by them under this scheme, under the reverse repo window at a rate which is 25 basis points (bps) lower the repo rate, or 40 bps higher than the reverse repo rate.

"By way of an incentive, banks will be permitted to park their surplus liquidity up to the size of the loan book created under this scheme with the Reserve Bank under the reverse repo window at a rate which is 25 bps lower than the repo rate or, termed in a different way, 40 bps higher than the reverse repo rate," Das said.

The hospitality and tourism sector welcomed the decision. Industry umbrella association FAITH said: “We had requested for a special priority and liquidity status for uptil at least 2024 considering that this sector is the worst hit and recovery will only happen by then.  Accordingly, We had asked for a tourism corpus to be set up at closest to repo rates, which is the rate at which banks borrow and which we seemingly have been given to borrow on the same rate - never before done for any sector earlier,” Aashish Gupta, CEO, FAITH said in a communique and added that the banks are being incentivised too to lend at this rate. “Hopefully the fine print and the execution of the commercial banks on the ground is equally accommodating,” he opined.

“This is the first significant sign indicating that the government has taken note of the severe effect that the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry and the huge economic impact it will have on the sector as well as the nation,” Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, VICE President, FHRAI, commented.

The announcement made by the RBI today on opening a separate liquidity window of Rs. 15,000 crores till March 31, 2022 for severely impacted sectors including hotels and restaurants is a welcome move. “However, given the inherent stress in the hospitality space and the fact that credit risk will continue to remain with the banks unlike with ECLGS, the actual benefit for the sector from the aforesaid liquidity window remains to be seen," Vinutaa S, Assistant Vice President and Sector Head, ICRA, said.

 

 

Yamuna International Airport Pvt Ltd (YIAPL) received the final credit sanction for Rs 3725 crore from the State Bank of India (SBI) for the development of Noida International Airport (NIA). The funding is a crucial milestone for the project as it validates the financial viability of the project while also outlining the next steps for the establishment of the Noida International Airport.

Christoph Schnellmann, Chief Executive Officer, Yamuna International Airport Private Limited said, "We are extremely delighted to partner with the State Bank of India, the country's largest bank, for financing the development of the Noida International Airport. The entire loan of INR 3725 crore has been underwritten by SBI on a door-to-door loan tenor of 20 years. We look forward to working closely with SBI to develop NIA as a world class airport in India. The project will not only boost the Indian economy but will also help in employment generation in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR region".

The airport is being developed in close partnership with Government of Uttar Pradesh and Government of India. UP government's continued support towards the project has been vital in the process so far.

YIAPL now looks forward to the conclusion of UP government's resettlement and rehabilitation process and the start of construction of the airport. This partnership will bring progress to the State of Uttar Pradesh and will bolster the Indian aviation's growth story.

Zurich Airport International AG (ZAIA), a fully owned subsidiary of Flughafen Zurich AG, is the main shareholder of YIAPL and is injecting INR 2005 crore into the development of NIA.

With this significant foreign direct investment, ZAIA consolidates its role as a leading global airport operator with experience in three continents, benchmarked quality and innovations and successful global projects. The investment substantiates ZAIA's strong belief in India's growth story, and its commitment to invest and support India's national agenda through infrastructural development and job creation.

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd that runs IndiGo has reported total income of Rs.6361.80 crores during the period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.5142.77 crores during the period ended December 31, 2020. The company reported total income of Rs.8634.62 crores during the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net loss of Rs. (1147.16) crores for the period ended March 31, 2021 as against net loss of Rs. (620.14) crores for the period ended December 31, 2020. It posted net loss of Rs.(870.80) crores for the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has reported total income of Rs.15677.59 crores during FY 2020-21 as compared to Rs.37291.51 crores during FY 2019-20.

InterGlobe Aviation has posted net loss of Rs. (5806.42) crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as against net loss of Rs.(233.67) crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, InterGlobe Aviation said "This has been a very difficult year with our revenues slumping hard due to covid, showing some signs of recovery during the period December to February and then slumping again with the second wave of the covid. While we have seen a sharp decline in revenues in March through May, we are encouraged by the modest revenue improvements starting last week of May and continuing through June.

We see this pandemic as a period of great trial for both our shareholders and our employees. We are focusing all our efforts and all our energies to strengthen the foundations and the pillars of IndiGo so that we emerge from this trial significantly stronger structurally and even more customer responsive than ever before. While we have produced disappointing financial results this year, we have also positioned ourselves to be the best-in-class airline when the inevitable recovery finally arrives."

T3 along with it readers mourn the sudden demise of our leader Dr. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group.

The Bhatia family, industry and T3 and its readers are in a state of deep shock and pray for his salvation.

TBO (TBO Holidays & Travel Boutique Online) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Tourism Authority at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to develop destination knowledge of Saudi Arabia via new and innovative programmes through their online platforms TBO Holidays, Travel Boutique Online and TBO Academy.

Zamzam.com a division of the TBO group is a MOHU (Ministry of Hajj & Umrah) certified global online platform dedicated to curating & customizing various travel and hospitality services for Umrah pilgrims. It offers bouquet of services including flights, hotels, visa, transfers, and a range of ground services that can be booked online and customized on demand.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO, Saudi Tourism Authority, said, “Saudi is on an exciting journey of discovery, growth and transformation. As we expand our global presence and cement our positioning of Saudi as a unique, exciting tourism destination, grounded in authentic, Arabian Hospitality, partnerships will be critical to our success. Collaboration is at the heart of achieving our great ambition. This signing with TBO is significant as we seek to develop destination knowledge of Saudi in our priority source markets and bring the beauty, wonders and natural treasures of Saudi to the world.”

VK Balaji, CSO, TBO Holidays, said,” We are delighted to partner with the Saudi Tourism Authority. We sincerely thank STA for giving us this opportunity to showcase Saudi Arabia to the world. We are extremely happy to be a part of fulfilling the Saudi vision of 2030 with 30 Mn Umrah pilgrims, 100 Mn visitors and multiple mega tourism infrastructure projects.” 

According to the UNWTO Confidence Index, international tourist arrivals were down 83 per cent in Q1 2021 as widespread travel restrictions remained in place. Between January and March 2021 destinations around the world welcomed 180 million fewer international arrivals compared to the first quarter of last year. Asia and the Pacific continued to suffer the lowest levels of activity with a 94 per cent drop in international arrivals over the three-month period. Europe recorded the second largest decline with -83 per cent, followed by Africa (-81 per cent), the Middle East (-78 per cent) and the Americas (-71 per cent). All these negative numbers follow on from the 73 per cent fall in worldwide international tourist arrivals recorded in 2020, making it the worst year on record for the sector. Asia and the Pacific continued to suffer the lowest levels of activity with a 94 per cent drop in international arrivals over the three-month period.

 

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO, said, “There is significant pent-up demand and we see confidence slowly returning. Vaccinations will be key for recovery, but we must improve coordination and communication while making testing easier and more affordable if we want to see a rebound for the summer season in the northern hemisphere.”

The latest survey of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts shows prospects for the May-August period improving slightly. The pace of the vaccination rollout in some key source markets as well as policies to restart tourism safely, most notably the EU Digital Green Certificate, have boosted hopes for a rebound in some of these markets.

Overall, 60 Secretary-General, UNWTO expect a rebound in international tourism only in 2022, up from 50 per cent in the January 2021 survey. The remaining 40 per cent see a potential rebound in 2021, though this is down slightly from the percentage in January.

Nearly half of the experts do not see a return to 2019 international tourism levels before 2024 or later, while the percentage of respondents indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 has somewhat decreased (37 per cent), when compared to the January survey.

Tourism experts point to the continued imposition of travel restrictions and the lack of coordination in travel and health protocols as the main obstacle to the sector’s rebound.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer also shows the economic toll of the pandemic.

International tourism receipts in 2020 declined by 64 per cent in real terms (local currencies, constant prices), equivalent to a drop of over US$ 900 billion, cutting the overall worldwide exports value by over four per cent in 2020.

The total loss in export revenues from international tourism (including passenger transport) amounts to nearly US$ 1.1 trillion. Asia and the Pacific (-70 per cent in real terms) and the Middle East (-69 per cent) saw the largest drops in receipts.

In view of the State’s latest ‘Break The Chain’ order extending the lockdown, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has written to the Municipal Commissioner – Iqbal Chahal to grant concessions to the Hospitality industry. It has requested that stand-alone restaurants and bars, as well as restaurants and bars in hotels for outside guests to be allowed to re-open immediately. HRAWI has also requested the Municipal Commissioner to extend the operation timing of restaurants to 11 pm.

The first and second lockdowns combined have impacted over 20 lakh jobs and for each month that hotels and restaurants remain closed, the industry suffers a loss of over Rs.2000/- crore. With the latest order, the industry is expected to remain closed for another half month which will cost it another approximately Rs.1000 crore in revenue loss. There are around 210,000 restaurants and 10,500 hotels in the State and the industry employs around 30 lakh jobs directly and indirectly.

Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI, said, “The industry revenue in the beginning of 2021 was below 20 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and since April 2021 it hasn’t even touched five per cent of the pre-pandemic levels. Each lockdown extension is costing the industry massive loss and the debt is only piling up. No data or study has shown hotels and restaurants to be COVID19 spreaders. At present the positivity rate of COVID19 cases in Mumbai is less than 10 per cent. Under these circumstances to save the industry from NPA and bankruptcies; and to save the livelihood of millions of people engaged, we request the Municipal Commissioner to grant us the concessions.”

The HRAWI has also pleaded to the Government for waiver of statutory charges including property tax and minimum water charges, electricity bills along with full relief in excise fees.

Fortune Hotels has been receiving the Traveler’s Choice awards for many years now. Last year 90% of its eligible hotels were awarded this recognition.

Speaking on the occasion, Samir MC, Managing Director- Fortune Park Hotels, said : “It has indeed been a very tough year for Hospitality. This recognition, which is based on factual customer feedback, is truly humbling. It comes as a testament to Fortune brands’ efforts in delivering impeccable services in the backdrop of the pandemic. It motivates us and strengthens our resolve to rise above the challenges and continue to deliver exceptional/ quality services to our discerning guests with a focus on the ‘Safe Stays At Fortune Hotels’ program that has become the foundation of our guest experience in the year that was and now. The credit for this exceptional performance goes to the hotel teams who have tirelessly worked, to ensure guest delight.”

 Fortune Hotels currently has 38 hotels operating under Select, Park, Inn and Resort brands across 34 cities of India.

The Traveler’s Choice award 2021 was received by most hotels in the chain including the upscale Fortune Select properties in Bengaluru, Navi Mumbai, Mahiya (Kasauli) and Tirupati; Fortune Park properties in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Dahej, Durgapur, Sidhrawali-Gurgaon, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mcleod Ganj, Mysore, Rajkot, Thane, Vapi, Vellore and Vijayawada; Fortune Resort properties in Ooty and Srinagar as well as the Fortune Inn properties in Gandhinagar, Ghaziabad, Goa, Jalandhar, Mussoorie, NOIDA, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam.

 

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