HDFC, India’s largest private sector mortgage lender, today raised Rs 30 billion by issuing the world’s first ever “Masala” or rupee-denominated bond outside India in London Stock Exchange, a landmark event that will boost economic ties between India and the UK post Brexit.
UK Chancellor Philip Hammond described the “landmark” listing by the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) as a “major vote of confidence” in London.
HDFC is the first company to issue a bond of this type, which raised Rupees 30 billion, equivalent to around USD 450 million. It has a maturity of three years and an annual yield of 8.33 per cent and was more than four times oversubscribed.
“It represents a major vote of confidence in London as the leading global financial centre and is further proof that Britain is a great place to do business,” Hammond said.
“This deal signifies a strengthening of the already close economic ties between the UK and India and paves the way for further masala bonds to be listed in the UK. It is a taste of things to come. Britain is open for business and one of the most attractive places in the world for foreign investment,” he said.
Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued to overseas buyers.
As many as 30 offshore Indian rupee bonds have listed in total on London Stock Exchange, raising equivalent to approximately USD 3.5 billion dollars, according to one of the world’s leading stock exchanges.
Britain’s Indian-origin minister for Asia, Alok Sharma, described the HDFC launch as a reaffirmation that the UK is a “natural partner” for India.
“The tremendous investor demand demonstrates the UK’s pivotal role in financing India’s growth and further strengthens the close economic ties between the UK and India.
I am confident that this will pave the way for many more Indian companies to raise capital in London to support India’s ambitious infrastructure plans,” Sharma said.
London Stock Exchange last year saw the listing of the world’s first-ever green Masala bond on its markets and there have been two further listings in 2016, raising a total of INR 7 billion.
The latest bond will help HDFC to diversify its borrowing profile and access global investors.
HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh said the listing of India’s largest private sector mortgage lender’s bond on London Stock Exchange was the result of “unshakable trust from international investors” in the exchange.
“While we did explore other markets for listing, the responsiveness and efficiency with which the officials at the UKLA (UK securities regulator) and London Stock Exchange responded to our urgent requirements was remarkable.
Considering that this was the first issue of its kind in a global financial centre by an Indian company, the authorities were forthcoming and supportive,” Parekh said.
The listing follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of USD 1 billion dollar equivalent of Masala bond issuance in the UK, made during his visit to London in 2015.