Ranbaxy’s rupee bonds mark return of drug firms to market

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SummaryRanbaxy Laboratories sold the first rupee bonds by a major Indian drugmaker in more than a year, giving investors an opportunity to hold debt of an industry with $27 billion in global revenue.

Ranbaxy Laboratories sold the first rupee bonds by a major Indian drugmaker in more than a year, giving investors an opportunity to hold debt of an industry with $27 billion in global revenue.

India’s biggest pharmaceutical company by sales said in a November 23 filing it sold R500 crore ($90 million) of three- year notes at 9.2%, less than the 9.37%average cost for similar-maturity debt of companies rated AA by Crisil, a unit of Standard & Poor’s. Comparable yields are 5.46% in China and 0.75% in the US.

Ranbaxy’s debut rupee bond, the first by a drugmaker since Cadila Healthcare raised R175 crore in July 2011, comes after it set aside $500 million in December to settle a legal dispute with US authorities.

The notes help investors to broaden their holdings in a market, according to Bloomberg data.

“Investors are looking at a diversified portfolio and are looking to add rupee debt of companies such as Ranbaxy and other multinationals,” Maneesh Malhotra, head of debt capital markets at the Indian unit of HSBC Holdings, said in a November 26 telephone interview.

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