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Future Retail Falls 11% As Grace Period For Interest Payment Comes To End

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On Friday, Future Retail Ltd's shares fell over 11 percent to an intraday low of Rs 113. It is the last day of the grace period allotted to the company that defaulted on payment of about Rs 100-crore ($14 million) interest on foreign bonds (5.6% 2025 dollar notes) that was due on 22 July. Its 30-day grace period expires on 21 August.

Future Retail Falls 11% As Grace Period For Interest Payment Comes To End
 

If the company fails to make the interest payment by 21 August, it would constitute as a default, the first Indian company to do so on the dollar security since March.

A Bloomberg report said that Future Retail Ltd was in talks with banks, led by State Bank of India, to help fund interest payment on the dollar security before Friday.

More signs of a debt crisis in the Future Group showed as another unit of the group said that it has defaulted on a rupee note interest payment.

The Future Group's cash crunch has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. A Hindu Business Line report had said that the Future Retail has taken loans worth Rs 170 crore under the government's COVID-19 linked emergency credit scheme.

"Due to the nation-wide lock down imposed to restrict the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, and consequent restricted business operations of the company the liquidity position has been affected causing us to miss the service of the payment of interest due on the USD Notes (listed on Singapore Stock Exchange) on 22nd July, 2020," the company said in the exchange filing in July.

Following the default, S&P Global Ratings had said that it could lower its preliminary rating on Future Retail to 'D' if it feel the company is unlikely to meet its commitment within this grace period.

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