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IFC Issued First Masala Bonds in London to Attract International Investment for Infrastructure in India

IFC issued a 10-year, 10 billion Indian rupee bond (equivalent to $163 million) in November 2014 to increase foreign investment in India, mobilizing international capital markets to support infrastructure development in the country.

The “Masala bonds” marked the first rupee bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange. The bonds were issued under IFC’s $2 billion offshore rupee program and they are the longest-dated bonds in the offshore rupee markets, building on earlier offshore rupee issuances by IFC at three-, five- and seven-year maturities. Proceeds from the offering will support a forthcoming infrastructure bond issuance by Axis Bank.

“This bond issue demonstrates the powerful role that capital markets can play in linking international savings to infrastructure investment. The strong demand from investors signals continued momentum for the Indian economy,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO.  

Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of India said: “IFC is a key development partner as we continue to focus on deepening the capital markets. The IFC Masala bonds set a triple-A benchmark for offshore rupee issuances and pave the way for more foreign investment to help meet India’s private sector development needs."

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, United Kingdom said: “Increasing our links with India has been a personal priority for me which is why I went to see Prime Minister Modi earlier this year to promote our economic relations and gave my backing to the new Gandhi statue in parliament square. If we can create these strong financial links between our two countries as well, then the ties will be deeper still which is why I have been personally pushing for rupee bonds to be issued in the UK markets and I am delighted this is now going ahead.”

IFC issued the bonds in London to leverage the city’s standing as a premier financial center. The vast majority of investors are European insurance companies.

In March 2014 IFC became the first multilateral institution to list renminbi-denominated bonds on the London Stock Exchange, which was followed by the issuance of IFC’s first renminbi-denominated green bonds in June 2014. Prior to 2014, IFC pioneered the international issuance of renminbi-denominated bonds in China (Panda bonds) and Hong Kong (Dim Sum bonds). IFC was also the first to set up a program to regularly issue offshore renminbi-denominated discount notes. 

Read the press release.

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