Describing India as the “bright spot” among major emerging economies, a senior IFC official has said that international investors have a strong appetite for Indian assets as is evident from the good response to the ‘Masala Bonds’.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has been issuing offshore rupee bonds better known as ‘Masala Bonds’. Last month it issued such securities worth USD 30 million having 15-year tenure – the longest-dated offshore rupee bond.
Citing the tremendous response to the issues, IFC Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua said this clearly demonstrates that there is a strong investor appetite in acquiring exposure to India.
“India is a unique story because all the other major emerging markets are facing challenges,” Hua told PTI in an interview here.
He said China is in a very challenging structural reform phase and the country’s growth is 6-6.5 per cent. It is pretty robust but far lower than double digit growth, he added.
“Brazil, South Africa and Russia are facing their own problems. So when you look at BRICS countries, India is the bright spot,” Hua noted.
The triple-A-rated bonds were issued under the IFC’s USD 3 billion Masala Bond programme. It has issued bonds worth about Rs 110 billion (Rs 11,000 crore) and the proceeds have been invested in 11 various private sector development projects in India.
“International investors’ appetite in acquiring Indian assets is very strong. We know that because we were able to issue Rs 110 billion worth rupee bonds within two-and-a-half years,” Hua said.
While announcing the issuance of bonds in March, IFC had said the securities would help deepen India’s capital markets by extending the yield curve and setting a pricing benchmark for future issuances with similar maturities.
Prior to that, IFC had issued masala bonds having maturities of 3,5,7 and 10 years.
IFC has also issued onshore ‘Maharaja Bonds’ under a USD 2.5 billion programme for issuances in India’s domestic capital markets.
Through offshore and onshore rupee bond programmes, it is working towards deepening the country’s capital market.
IFC has committed over USD 15 billion in India and has the single largest country exposure globally. IFC made its first investment in India in 1958.