IFC sold $1.7 bn worth of Indian rupee Masala bonds

Lima, Oct 11 (IANS) The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank group, has sold Indian rupee bonds worth Rs.106 billion ($1.7 billion) to international investors starting 2013, a statement said on Sunday.

In a statement announcing the receipt of approval from Bangladesh’s government for the first-ever issue of offshore taka bonds, IFC said this programme follows its ground-breaking Masala bond issue in India in 2013.

“To date, IFC has sold Indian Rs.106 billion (or $1.7 billion) bonds to international investors. The bonds range in tenor from three to ten years and created an international triple-A yield curve for the offshore rupee markets,” it said.

“The Reserve Bank of India has now allowed Indian companies to issue offshore rupee bonds, expanding access to international capital markets for local firms,” it added.

According to IFC, the $1 billion equivalent taka bond programme in Bangladesh aims to strengthen capital markets and increase foreign investment in that country.

“Under the program, IFC will issue the first taka-linked bonds in the offshore market and bring the proceeds back to finance investment in Bangladesh. The bonds will be listed on the London Stock Exchange,” IFC said.

“Domestic capital markets are critical to providing long-term, local-currency finance for the private sector-which plays an essential role in job creation in emerging markets,” IFC’s executive vice president and CEO Jin-Yong Cai was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to the statement, IFC has, over the years, launched various bond programmes with the aim to strengthen local capital markets and to finance projects in emerging markets.

So far, it has issued bonds in 17 local emerging market currencies such as Armenian dram, Chinese renminbi, Indian rupee, Peruvian soles and Zambian kwacha.

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