‘Multilateral bodies plan overseas'

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SummaryIDFC is ready to launch a rupee-bond abroad, economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram said.

The Asian Development Bank and other multilateral agencies are considering issuing overseas rupee bonds, boosted by the encouraging response to the first-ever overseas rupee-bond sale by IFC.

IFC, a unit of the World Bank Group, had last week sold rupee-denominated bonds raising Rs 1,000 crore at a coupon of 7.75 per cent for a 3-year money. “There are other entities such as the ADB which also want to go into the international markets with rupee bonds and also from within the country. IDFC is ready to launch a rupee-bond abroad,” economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram said on the sidelines of a Crisil summit on corporate bond market.

“They (ADB) have just expressed their interest. They haven’t told us what would be the size. What manner they want to go. We’re waiting for their details to come. The IFC is now recalibrating. They believe they might be able to issue at a much lower coupon than they did in the first issue,” Mayaram said.

The government has been trying to internationalise the rupee and has also been preparing to lobby with major trading partners to accept rupee payments for exports.

As the pressure on the current account deficit and rupee have eased following rise in forex reserves, the government is not looking very keen on including government debt in global bond indices. “It would be interesting to be on the global indices, but it is not a matter which is urgent that it would require an immediate decision,” said Mayaram. Experts say that inclusion in the global bond indices such as the JP Morgan’s Government Bond Index-Emerging markets, may lead to an additional inflow of over $20 billion.

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