What are Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs)?

Asset reconstruction company is a specialised financial institution that buys bad assets or NPA from banks and other financial institutions so that they can clean the balance sheet of the banks. The ARC's were first introduced through the SARFESI Act.

ARC'S purchase bad assets from the banks and then sell them off, the revenue then generated from the sale of such assets helps in promoting higher growth of the banks. ARC's examine the bad debt situation of all the public sector and private sector banks so that they can reduce the burden of Non-Performing loans.

What are Stressed Assets or NPA's

RBI has defined Non-Performing Assets (NPA's) as assets that do not provide any return to the banks for 90 days. The recovery of this asset is doubtful and hence are labelled as sub-standard.

Capital Requirement for ARC's

As per SARFESI act and RBI guidelines, the ARC can issue bonds and debentures to meet the need of its funding requirement. The ARC's as per the act needs to have a minimum Net Owned Fund of Rs 2 crore.

In the recent notification, the RBI has increased the amount to Rs100 crore; the companies established as Asset Reconstruction Companies need to have a minimum fund of Rs100 crore by 31st March 2019.

NOTE: Different Classes of securitisation or Reconstruction Company will require a different amount of net owned fund that will be specified by RBI.

Registration Process for Asset Reconstruction Companies

ARC is a specialised financial institution that is involved in the business of buying Non-Performing Assets from the banks and selling them off. Hence the companies need to go through a rigorous registration process that involves obtaining a registration certificate from RBI as well.

Registration under Companies act

An ARC company needs to be registered under companies act either as Private limited Company or as a Public Limited Company.

ARC's Registration with RBI

The Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC's) cannot commence business without obtaining a certificate of registration from RBI. The said certificate will only be granted if the company has a Net owned fund of Rs 2 crore at the time of incorporation.

The Securitisation company is registered under section 3 of the SARFESI act and is regulated as NBFC in India. Although any ARC company need not complete the compliances that every other NBFC has to perform.

The RBI before providing the company with approval will inspect the books of the company, i.e. it will look into the following conditions:

  • The company has not incurred any loss in the last 3 preceding financial years.
  • The RBI will also look into factors such as director of the companies are experienced in the arena of finance, securitisation and reconstruction. The director should also be not involved in any such offence that arises due to moral turpitude.

Only after the company has fulfilled the following conditions; it will grant the certificate of registration to the company to operate as a securitisation company.

Disposal Process of Troubled Assets (NPA's)

In India, the major issue of the financing sector is the Non- performing Assets or Bad debts that are hindering with any fresh investments that could be made in Indian industries. ARC's have helped the banks by taking the issue of resolving the bad debts and converting them into revenue from them and do the task for them.

They sort out the task of cleaning the books of the company.

Recent Resolution By RBI

RBI to provide long term solution for a large number of stressed assets has introduced a new set of guidelines in 2016. Based on these guidelines the RBI has increased the scope for all the potential buyers. This means that not only ARC's but other financial institutions can also purchase these assets from the banks.

As per the guidelines RBI has laid down the following:

The following modification in the existing NPA sale framework is done only to expand the scope of potential buyers and not in the complete process.

  • Specific Policy for Identifying NPA's or Stressed Assets

The banks are advised to list down and operate on a clear policy of identifying NPA's. The policy formulated must be such, that the process involves the head office of the banks selling the NPA, A pre-defined category must be created at the beginning of the year itself.

NOTE: The policy formulated should include the minimum sale price of all the NPA's that have been identified.
  • RBI has proposed a process for Sale

A proposed process recommended by RBI includes open action or e-auction so that the banks can attract both smaller and larger companies as well. Any prospective buyer of the asset is to be given adequate time to conduct due diligence of the asset.

  • Listed Potential Buyers

As per the guidelines, the sale of stressed assets will no longer be limited to ARC's and Securitisation companies only; now the list also includes other NBFC's, financial institutions and also individual investors.

List of Top 5 Trusted ARC's in India

India has a number of asset reconstruction companies in India, but the top 10 trusted companies are:

Asset Reconstruction Company India (ARCIL)

ARCIL is one of the first asset reconstruction services company established in India. The company was set up by SBI; ICICI is the principal shareholder of the company.

Reliance Asset Reconstruction Company Limited

Reliance Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (RARC) was registered with RBI on March 31st 2018 and manages the assets of Rs 1864 crores that include both secured and unsecured assets. Reliance capital limited is the principal sponsor of the company that holds 49% of the company shares and has managing control over the company

Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited

Edelweiss ARC is sponsored by edelweiss that is financial services conglomerate and has also obtained registration from RBI before commencing business as ARC in India.

Indiabulls Asset Reconstruction Company

Indiabulls ARC is sponsored by Indiabulls ventures that have 100% equity capital in the company. The certificate of registration to the company was granted on 19th May 2017 by RBI.

Phoenix ARC

Phoenix Arc's major sponsor is Kotak Mahindra Investment Limited that own 49.9% of the equity of the company.

Conclusion

The Asset Reconstruction Companies play catalyst in resolving the debt problem in India, till the moment the ARC has played a limited role but now with various guideline changes the company is going to play a significant role in addressing the debt projection by suggesting comprehensive remedies for all these debt problems.



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