Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), the finance arm of Indian Railways, priced its green dollar bonds on Tuesday at 145 basis points (bps) over the 10-year US Treasury yield. The company raised $500 million through the issue, according to bankers. The initial price guidance on the issue was 165 bps over the US Treasury yield, but the final price was revised down to 145 bps. According to a banker associated with the deal, the issue attracted bids in excess of $1.25 billion till Tuesday evening, with most of the investor interest coming from Asia. “The bonds witnessed decent interest from investors, especially considering the fact that the issue is getting priced at the end of the year and we have been seeing back to back issuances from India and as well as from China,” said the banker. Lodha Developers International and Power Finance Corporation (PFC) had recently hit the market with their dollar bond offerings.
Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a Baa2 rating to IRFC’s proposed green bonds. The rating outlook is stable, it said in a release. Post the sovereign ratings upgrade, Moody’s had hiked the long-term ratings of IRFC to Baa2 from Baa3, while changing the ratings outlook to stable from positive. Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered and MUFG are the bankers to the deal. Prior to this, IRFC had hit the dollar bond market in February 2014, when it raised $500 million via five-year paper at a coupon rate of 3.917%, according to Bloomberg data. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is also set to hit the dollar bond market very soon and is all set to commence roadshows to market its bonds. REC had picked up $450 million in July this year by issuing 10-year dollar bonds at a coupon rate of 3.875%. So far, Indian firms and banks have raised over $14 billion from the overseas bond market this year.