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Present situation due to COVID-19 pandemic not suitable for raising funds overseas: Exim Bank

Kolkata, May 24 (PTI) Premier export finance institution Exim Bank said on Sunday that the present scenario arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak is not suitable to raise resources from overseas markets.

Under such circumstances, the lender had requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a credit line of USD two billion, an official of the Export-Import Bank of India said.

'The mandate for Exim Bank is to raise resources from overseas markets primarily for disbursement under concessional finance programme on behalf of the government,' he said.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak, the market now is not suitable for raising funds abroad, the official said.

'We requested for USD two billion credit line from RBI, equivalent to around Rs 15,000 crore, which the apex bank has agreed to,' he told PTI.

The Reserve Bank on Friday announced a Rs 15,000-crore line of credit to the lender.

'How and in what form this money will come is not yet clear. Raising resources from overseas markets is now a challenge. There is a regular need for disbursements in foreign currency,' he said.

Exim Bank raises funds in multiple currencies like USD, Japanese Yen, South African Rand, Euro and Singapore dollar, he said.

All the currencies are then swapped into USD, according to him.

'Nearly 70 per cent of our business is in USD. We have a huge requirement of dollars,' he said.

Speaking about outlook for export in the current fiscal, he said that it is definitely going to fall.

'We don't want to speculate the extent of the fall.

Due to the lockdown, demand has shrunk across sectors and there will be a decline in exports as well,' the official said.

The market sentiment is down at the moment, and there has been no specific request for line of credit from any quarter.

'We are now trying to deal with companies which have already made inroads in Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,' he added. PTI DC BDC BDC