IFC Issues Historic 15-year Masala Bond in London

IFC issued 2 billion rupees—or nearly $30 million—in 15-year Masala bonds in March, marking the longest-dated offshore rupee bond to be issued. The issuance was listed on the London Stock Exchange and proceeds of the bonds will be used to advance private sector development in India.

The triple-A-rated bonds are issued under IFC’s $3 billion Masala bond program, which was debuted in London to leverage the city’s standing as a premier financial center.

“As a world first, the successful issuance of IFC’s 15-year Masala bond on the London Stock Exchange highlights London’s ability to attract significant capital for investment opportunities in India,” said Suneel Bakhshi, LCH.Clearnet Group CEO and London Stock Exchange Group Executive Committee Member. “We are committed to establishing London as the leading center for rupee denominated offshore capital raising and we look forward to further collaboration with international and Indian issuers.”

Over the past three years, IFC’s Masala Bond program has played an important role in deepening India’s capital markets, prompting the Reserve Bank of India to authorize Indian companies to issue similar bonds in offshore markets. We are also supporting Indian companies seeking to issue Masala bonds by providing advice and sharing our experience as a pioneer issuer in this market.  

The latest 15-year bonds mark the latest step in IFC’s efforts to extend the yield curve and set a pricing benchmark for future issuances with similar maturities. IFC has previously issued Masala bonds in maturities of three, five, seven, and 10 years.

“IFC’s 15-year masala bond demonstrated long-term investor confidence in India’s growth,” said Navtej Sarna, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “Innovative financing mechanisms like IFC’s Masala program are critical to mobilize long-term funding for India’s infrastructure expansion.”

“Lasting prosperity depends on strong and efficient capital markets,” said IFC Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua. “With our latest Masala bond issuance, IFC has created an offshore rupee-market yield curve that stretches from three to fifteen years, deepening the market and making it more resilient. This sends a clear signal that investor demand for high-quality assets in India remains strong, despite global financial uncertainties.”

Under the Masala bond program, IFC has issued bonds worth almost 110 billion rupees, including the first green Masala bond to support climate-smart investment in India. Fourteen private sector development projects in India have received Masala-bond financing so far.

Read the story on the London Stock Exchange Group website.