The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

India: Essar's woes mark end of easy credit

Bulgaria: Has the IMF got it right in Sofia?

Ukraine: Realities of burden sharing

Hungary: Teething troubles of pension reform

The mood at Essar House, the gleaming glass-cased headquarters of one of India's top conglomerates in Mumbai, was gloomy. Late in the night of July 19, after a stormy board meeting, the directors of Essar Steel, the flagship of the $4 billion group, admitted that the company would not redeem $250 million floating rate notes that were to mature the next day. In a statement issued to the press, the company said it would seek a 90-day reprieve from investors to come up with a plan to either refinance or reschedule the five-year notes.

Media coverage of the story of the first Indian company to default on its international obligations had the scorching intensity of a countdown to D-day. Weeks of tense, often bitter, negotiations, between the Ruias, the family that owns a controlling stake in Essar, and its principal lenders, a group of domestic financial institutions, were played out in the Indian newspapers. Stories alleged that another company had plotted Essar's downfall and that punters had bought up FRNs (the large discount on the notes had narrowed towards the redemption date) in anticipation of a bailout.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree