Indian minister to meet start-ups on SVB fallout - GulfToday

Indian minister to meet start-ups on SVB fallout


Employees walk in front of a sign outside of the shuttered Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Silicon Valley Bank was shut down on Friday morning by California regulators and was put in control of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Agence France-Presse

India’s state minister for technology said on Sunday he will meet start-ups this week to asses the impact on them of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, as concerns rise about the fallout for the Indian start-up sector.

California banking regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank on Friday after a run on the lender, which had $209 billion in assets at the end of 2022, with depositors pulling out as much as $42 billion on a single day, rendering it insolvent.

“Start-ups are an important part of the new India economy. I will meet with Indian Startups this week to understand impact on them and how the government can help during the crisis,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the state minister for IT said on Twitter.

India has one of the world’s biggest start-up markets, with many clocking multi-billion-dollar valuations in recent years and getting the backing of foreign investors who have made bold bets on digital and other tech businesses.

SVB’s failure, the biggest in the US since the 2008 financial crisis, has roiled global markets, hit banking stocks and is now unsettling Indian entrepreneurs.

Two partners at an Indian venture capital fund and one lender to Indian start-ups told Reuters that they are running checks with portfolio companies on any SVB exposure and if so, whether it is a significant part of their total bank balance.

Consumer internet startups, which have drawn the bulk of funding in India in recent years, are less affected because they either do not have an SVB account or have minimal exposure to it, the three people said.

“Spoke to some founders and it is very bad,” Ashish Dave, CEO of Mirae Asset Venture Investments (India), wrote in a tweet.

“Especially for Indian founders ... who setup their US companies and raised their initial round, SVB is default bank. Uncertainty is killing them. Growth ones are relatively safer as they diversified. Last thing founders needed”.

India’s Nazara Technologies Ltd, a mobile gaming company, said in a stock exchange filing that two of its subsidiaries, Kiddopia Inc and Mediawrkz Inc, hold cash balances totalling $7.75 million or 640 million rupees with SVB.

 Kuwait’s central bank said on Sunday there would be very little impact on local lenders from the collapse on Friday of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

The Kuwaiti central bank governor said that the exposure of the local banks to SVB was very limited and that the banks assured him that their business would be barely affected, Kuwait’s state news agency reported.

The governor, Basel Al Haroun also stressed the “stability and strength of the Kuwaiti financial system” thanks to the country’s financial strength.

SVB Financial Group, which operated as Silicon Valley Bank, became the largest bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis on Friday, roiling markets and leaving billions of dollars belonging to companies and investors stranded.

Meanwhile, six Hong Kong-listed companies, mostly Chinese pharmaceutical firms, disclosed cash deposits at Silicon Valley Bank on Sunday, adding that their exposure to the failed US lender and its impact on operations were immaterial, in an effort to calm investors.

Startup-focussed SVB Financial Group, which did business as Silicon Valley Bank, collapsed on Friday in the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, roiling global markets and stranding billions of dollars belonging to companies and investors.

Among the six companies that published filings to the stock exchange on Sunday, Brii Biosciences Limited had the highest percentage of cash and bank balances at SVB, at less than 9%. It did not provide a monetary figure for the deposits.

“Notwithstanding the closure of SVB, the existing cash and bank balances of the company continue to be sufficient to meet its working capital, capital expenditures and material cash requirements from known contractual obligations for the next three years,” Brii Biosciences said.

Broncus Holding Corporation said it held $11.8 million at SVB, representing around 6.5% of its total cash.

“The company’s cash and assets are well-diversified to minimize risk, and it engages sizable financial institutions for commercial banking services which are not currently exposed to liquidity risks,” it said in the filing.

CStone Pharmaceuticals said its accounts held at SVB in excess of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured limits are less than $600,000, accounting less than 0.5% of its cash.

Noah Holdings Private Wealth and Asset Management Limited has less than $1 million with SVB, less than 0.2% of its total cash.


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