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HDFC to raise funds from retail investors through Green Deposits to finance sustainable housing


Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) is planning to raise funds from retail investors to support financing of green and sustainable housing projects including loans to developers and homebuyers.

The financing offered through these ‘Green and Sustainable Deposits’ will aim to safeguard the environment from climate change.

Last month, HDFC and the World Bank Group member IFC entered into an agreement to promote green housing in India through lending for affordable and low-income housing.

IFC, the largest global development institution, has extended a loan worth $250 million to HDFC under this partnership. At least 25% of the financing is earmarked for green affordable housing, which is likely to encourage this market in India.

“We have always had a successful deposits program. Though we do not have a target in mind, even a fraction of what we have been raising by way of our regular retail deposits can translate to a reasonable amount. The larger purpose is to provide another product to environmentally conscious customers who also want to contribute towards a better environment and are looking for a dependable platform that can help contribute to this cause at a very nominal cost and least effort,” Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, HDFC, told ET.

At present, HDFC has a total deposit base of Rs 1.54 lakh crore (Rs 1.54 trillion) as on June end and even 1% of this the new fundraising will amount to over Rs 1,500 crores.

“Today, sustainability is no longer about doing less harm, but about doing more good. HDFC anticipates growing demand for green solutions and we are raising funds through Green & Sustainable Deposits offering our customers to grow wealth while contributing to serve the needs of a changing world. HDFC is committed towards supporting India’s efforts for a sustainable and green low-carbon economy,” said Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC.

The country’s largest private mortgage lender has signed an agreement with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) to promote green buildings in the country. It has disbursed over Rs 19,665 crores of home loans to 47,819 families in certified green building projects across the country as on March end.

More than half of HDFC’s lease rental discounting (LRD) portfolio is certified as green buildings by the Indian Green Building Council or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The funds will be raised through deposits from retail investors including both resident and non-resident Indians (NRIs). The deposits will attract an interest rate of up to 6.55% per year and have tenure of 36 to 120 months. Senior citizens above 60 years will be eligible for an additional 0.25% per annum on deposits up to Rs 2 crore.

A green building, or sustainable design, is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and of reducing impacts on human health and the environment for the entire lifecycle of a building.

The government is also pushing the green building movement in India by offering fast track environmental clearance for green building projects which are pre-certified or provisionally certified by IGBC. In some states, an additional floor space index (FSI) is granted to such projects ranging from 1-10% depending upon the rating of the project. Property Tax rebate is also being given to property owners in a few states based on the rating of the project.



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