For mutual funds with exposure to DHFL debt, a rating downgrade means that there will be a mark to market impact on individual bond prices, also affecting NAV
After CARE cut ratings from “AAA” to “AA+” for debentures, loans and deposits. Rating for commercial paper (“A1+) has kept under watch with developing implications.
With DHFL group companies debt mess coming under the lens, global brokerage Credit Suisse has warned that it could trigger a second wave of risk aversion in India’s debt fund industry.
Earlier, India’s debt mart faced a major risk aversion during September-October following a debt default by the IL&FS group.
The DHFL debt mess is expected to have a resonating effect as the company is among the larger borrowers from mutual funds (MFs) and their aggregate exposure stood at around Rs 8,650 crore as of December 2018. That amounts to about 0.7 per cent of debt mutual funds asset under management as of December 2018.
About Rs.7,800 crore of such debt has been purchased by open-ended MF schemes, while the rest of the money is with closed-ended funds. Open-ended funds are where investors have the highest liquidity since you can come in or go out anytime. Closed-ended funds don’t allow you to exit before maturity.
Several fund houses have large exposures to DHFL, at 2-15 per cent of total debt AUM, with some schemes having up to 30 per cent of their AUM to DHFL
UTI Mutual Fund had the maximum exposure of around Rs 2,144 crore as of December 31, 2018, followed by Reliance AMC at Rs 1,488 crore, Axis AMC at Rs 771 crore and Franklin Templeton Rs 571 crore.
The DHFL issue may result into more scrutiny of credit risk in debt funds, and considering the fact that NBFC funding relies on MFs for 10-30 per cent of their borrowings, debt funds flow will see some hiccups in the coming days.
Some schemes have taken mark-to-market (MTM) losses on this exposure with DHFL paper being repriced at higher yields. Credit Suisse warned if this continues and leads to redemption pressure, it may cause a second wave of risk aversion in domestic debt funds and volatility in their flows.
In the open-ended space, about Rs 300 crore of exposure is to Aadhaar Housing Finance, which will now become the responsibility of Blackstone. DHFL is a Rs 6,200 crore of debt exposure for funds.
Debt raised by firms like DHFL is repaid within a few months (or years) as per maturity. If DHFL at some point is not able to honour its obligations, then that will be default like situation eg. IL&FS. However, such a situation may not really happen.
As a precautionary measure, some mutual funds may, however, write down the value of the bonds.
There is also the option to segregate or side-pocket bad assets so that the impact of the downgrade does not lead to panic redemptions. However, side pocketing can happen only in extreme cases, and that too when there is a default-like scenario.
Existing investors – For mutual funds with exposure to DHFL debt, a rating downgrade means that there will be a mark to market (MTM) impact on individual bond prices. This means there will be an impact on the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the funds.
In some cases, the MTM impact of the first series of downgrades on bond prices can be as significant as 25%. This means a 5% position for the bond in a fund would result in a negative 1.25% MTM performance attribution due to bond holding.
Any redemption from such funds at this point would result in an actual booking of losses.
Keep an eye on schemes with 10-33% exposure to single DHFL security.
Such examples are DHFL Pramerica Ultra Short Term (Dewan Housing Finance Corpn. Ltd. TR-1(30-Apr-19), JM Income (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CATG III & IV 09.10% (09-Sep-19)), JM Short Term Fund (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CATG III & IV 09.10% (09-Sep-19)), JM Low Duration (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CATG III & IV 09.10% (09-Sep-19)), Baroda Dynamic Bond (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-III CATG III & IV 09.25% (09-Sep-23)), DHFL Pramerica Medium Term (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-II CATG III & IV 9.15% (09-Sep-21)), DHFL Pramerica Floating Rate (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CATG I & II 09.05% (23-Sep-19)), DHFL Pramerica Low Duration (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CATG I & II 09.05% (23-Sep-19)), BNP Paribas Medium Term (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CAT I-IV 08.90% (04-Jun-21)), BOI AXA Short Term Income (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. CATG I & II SR-IV 9.1% (16-Aug-19)), Tata Medium Term (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. SR-I CAT I-IV 08.90% (04-Jun-21)).
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