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SBI to mull raising $2 bn via foreign currency bonds

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Mumbai | Published: January 5, 2018 3:39:58 AM

State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said it will hold a meeting of the executive committee of its central board to consider fundraising worth $2 billion through foreign currency bonds.

sbi, state bank of india, currency bonds, foreign currency bonds, private placementState Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said it will hold a meeting of the executive committee of its central board to consider fundraising worth billion through foreign currency bonds. (Image: Reuters)

State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said it will hold a meeting of the executive committee of its central board to consider fundraising worth $2 billion through foreign currency bonds. The meeting will be held on January 8. The bonds could be issued in single or multiple tranches of up to $2 billion through a public offer or a private placement. The lender said in an exchange filing that the fundraising could be either in dollar or any other convertible currency during the current or next fiscal. In calendar year 2017, the SBI’s London branch did two foreign currency bond issues. According to SBI’s exchange filing, it did a tap issue of its existing floating rate bonds in April to raise $100 million, taking the total size of the issue to $600 million.

The bank priced the three-year paper at a coupon of 95 basis points plus the 3-month USD Libor payable quarterly. Prior to that, the London branch of the bank had issued five-year dollar bonds in January to raise $500 million at a coupon rate of 3.25% payable semi-annually. The last year was phenomenal in terms of foreign currency bond issuances as close to $16.4 billion of debt was issued by Indian firms and banks. Due to scarcity value of Indian paper and relatively attractive yields, the cost of borrowing had also reduced for Indian issuers.

Bonds issued by SBI always attract tremendous interest from foreign investors. As a result, the pricing on SBI’s bonds are always among the lowest that an Indian issuer has to pay. However, global bond yields on the rise and the US Fed is likely to hike rates at least two times in 2018. Bond market experts say yields on foreign currency bonds from India might also rise in tandem if the US Treasury yields surge.

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