IFC launches innovative Masala Bond for India in Japan

Washington, March 2 (IANS) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched its first Uridashi Masala Bond, mobilising Rs.300 million ($4.3 million) directly from Japanese household investors to promote private sector development in India.

The three-year bond builds on IFC’s pioneering Masala bond programme, which has raised the equivalent of $1.7 billion from international investors for investment in India, IFC said in announcement from Tokyo on Tuesday.

Masala bonds are rupee-denominated instruments sold only to offshore investors, while Uridashi bonds are sold to Japanese household investors.

Proceeds from IFC’s Uridashi Masala bonds will be used to support private sector investment in India.

“Thriving economies depend on efficient capital markets,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC vice president and treasurer.

“IFC’s latest bond opens up a new source of local-currency finance for businesses in India while enabling Japanese household investors to participate in the development of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”

IFC said it has played a prominent role in India’s capital-markets development, rolling out a $3 billion rupee-denominated Masala bond programme over the past two years.

IFC has issued bonds in a sufficient range of maturities to establish a sound benchmark for rupee bond prices, it said.

The resulting investor demand for rupee bonds prompted the Indian central bank to consider permitting local companies to issue rupee-denominated bonds in offshore markets.

J.P. Morgan is the sole arranger of the bonds. Daisen Hinomaru Securities Co. Ltd is the distributor of the bonds.

IFC said India is its largest client country. IFC’s committed portfolio in India totalled more than $5 billion as of June 30, 2015. In fiscal year 2015, IFC committed $1.4 billion in new investments.

In addition to strengthening local capital markets in India, IFC is focused on boosting financing in infrastructure and logistics, promoting financial inclusion, and expanding access to high-quality and affordable healthcare, it said.

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