India sets out Yes Bank rescue, State Bank of India to take 49% stake

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - India laid out a rescue plan for Yes Bank YESB.NS on Friday under which State Bank of India SBI.NS will take a 49% stake in the troubled lender, which is struggling with bad loans.

A man walks past a logo of State Bank of India outside a branch in New Delhi, February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the restructuring plan would be implemented within 30 days, adding the depth of the problems at the bank were still being assessed.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it had increased Yes Bank’s authorised share capital, paving the way for a cash injection after it failed in its months-long attempt to raise enough money to meet regulatory requirements.

Based on details in the RBI’s statement, analysts calculated that SBI would invest some 25 billion rupees ($339 million).

RBI and SBI, the country’s largest lender, did not provide any clarity on the cash infusion or any detail on who would put in the additional funds required by Yes Bank, which has been trying to raise 100 billion rupees for months.

Analysts said that the bank will have to raise much more capital and bring in more investors.

SBI will not be allowed to reduce its stake to below 26% for at least three years. All instruments issued by Yes Bank, which qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital will be written down permanently, according to the RBI’s plan.

Friday’s rescue plan came less than 24 hours after the RBI took control of Yes Bank because of a serious deterioration in its financial position.

The RBI’s shock move underscored the extent of government concern around contagion in the banking system if India’s fifth-largest private lender had collapsed.

Shares in Yes Bank, which fell as much as 85%, closed 56% lower on Friday.

(This refile adds dropped word in headline)

Reporting by Manoj Kumar, Aftab Ahmed and Nupur Anand; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith