King of Indian Bond Sales Warns of the Biggest Crisis Since Lehman

Shashikant Rathi, who has dominated India’s local bond underwriting business for over a decade at Axis Bank, says the industry now faces its biggest challenge since the global financial crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Shock defaults since last year by shadow bank IL&FS group and a new electronic bidding platform have disrupted the $108 billion market where underwriters like Rathi help companies raise money by selling debt securities. Sales of rupee corporate bonds that tend to pay the highest fees have fallen this quarter to a 2016 low. “The market is in complete chaos,” Rathi, the 41-year-old executive vice president and head of treasury and markets at Axis Bank in Mumbai, said in an interview. “I haven’t seen such a crisis since the 2008 Lehman bankruptcy.” Read more