NHB to set up first mortgage guarantee firm

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Bangalore: After its earlier attempt to set up the mortgage guarantee company went awry, Housing finance promoter and regulator National Housing Bank (NHB) is not leaving any stone unturned this time. Once the company gets going, housing finance companies will be in a position to borrow on shorter terms and raise remaining resources through selling of assets. In turn, borrowers will benefit by way of low interest rates for housing finance.

"The company will facilitate greater expansion and stability to the housing loan market. At the same time, it will lower the risk perception by providing default liquidity support," said R V Verma, NHB Executive Director.

The NHB has already finalized a U.S. based technical partner in place of AIG. Other international partners will include Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private sector lending arm. This mortgage guarantee company will be set up with an initial capital of Rs 120 crore, against the minimum requirement of 100 crore set by the Reserve Bank of India. It is expected to start operations by the third quarter of 2010.

"We have already secured the approval of the finance ministry, the Reserve Bank of India and the housing ministry. In fact, we are currently negotiating with RBI to make the guidelines for such banks more open, so that we don't die even before we begin," said Verma.

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