• National Highways Authority joins Masala bond drive

    : National Highways Authority of India has invited banks to submit expressions of interest for an offering of Masala bonds at a minimum tenor of five years to raise the rupee equivalent of $750 million, according to market sources.

    These will be the company’s debut Masala issue. India Ratings, CARE and CRISIL have assigned AAA ratings to NHAI’s long-term domestic borrowing programme.

    Despite interest from issuers, no Masala bond issues have been completed yet, but there is a strong pipeline building from public sector companies.

    NHAI says it will consider issuing offshore rupee bonds of 10, 15 and 20 years. It has given banks until the end of this month to respond.

    Earlier this week, India’s largest power company, NTPCBSE -2.10 % , had said it was looking to raise $250 million from an offering of Green Masala bonds, according to market sources.

    NTPC was said to have mandated Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and SBI Capital Markets for the offering.

    Last week, Rural Electrification Corp sent a request for proposals to raise $100 million from Masala bonds, with a greenshoe option to increase the size for up to $200 million. The Reg S bonds were to have a tenor of three years and one day.

    The proceeds will be for financing infrastructure projects in the power sector. Banks have until July 4 to respond to REC’s call for proposals.

    REC is rated Baa3 and BBB by Moody’s and Fitch, equivalent to the sovereign rating of India. ICRA and CARE have assigned AAA ratings to REC’s local bonds. Bradley McDougald Jersey

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