By Arun Kumar, Washington, April 11 IANS | 3 months ago

To strengthen India's capital markets and attract greater foreign investment, the International Finance Corporation Friday issued seven-year bonds for 12 billion rupees (about $194 million) bringing the total to $1 billion.


This completes the first global rupee bond programme launched last October by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, IFC announced.

The seven-year IFC bond offering is the longest-dated issue to date in the offshore rupee markets, and was 140 percent oversubscribed.

Most of the investors were from outside Asia. The bond yields 8.25 percent percent, IFC said.

Under the IFC global rupee bond programme, IFC has also issued three-year bonds totalling 30 billion rupees, and five-year bonds totalling 20 billion rupees.

"The very strong market response to IFC's first global rupee bond programme highlights the growing confidence of international investors in India's economy," said IFC EVP and CEO Jin-Yong Cai.

"By offering a range of tenors under the programme, we were able to attract a broad range of investors from around the world, bringing depth and diversity to the offshore rupee market," he said.

Arvind Mayaram, Secretary of Economic Affairs in India's Ministry of Finance, said: "IFC is a key partner in supporting the development of the private sector in India."

"With the global rupee bond programme, IFC made an important contribution to the development of India's capital markets, attracting foreign investment at this important juncture and establishing an Indian rupee benchmark in the global markets," he said.

IFC global rupee bonds are denominated in Indian rupees but settled in US dollars, with all principal and coupon payments tied to the dollar-rupee exchange rate.

IFC converts bond proceeds from dollars into rupees on the domestic spot exchange market, and invests the rupees in the country.

India accounted for $4.5 billion of IFC's committed investment portfolio as of June 30, 2013-more than any other country, IFC said.

In FY13, IFC invested $1.38 billion in India to achieve several strategic priorities such as promoting inclusive growth in India's low-income states, addressing climate change, and supporting global economic integration, it said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

(Posted on 11-04-2014)