JNPT Signs Deal to Raise $400-m $ Loan
Mumbai: The country’s largest container handling port JNPT has signed an agreement to raise its first dollar-denominated loan of $400 million, or about .₹ 2,660 crore, at close to a 10th of prevailing domestic borrowing rates.
“The agreement was signed last night. The loan is raised at 2.36% rate compared to 12% which is the prevailing domestic rate,” shipping minister Nitin Gadkari told ET at the ongoing Maritime India Summit here on Friday.
“This was my brainchild. ICICI Bank was lending at 12%. I said why? Raise dollar loans. Now viability of the project won’t be a problem,” the minister said.
Industry experts said this would lead to other major ports also taking the ECB route and forex loans as this would be cheaper despite the fact that the rupee has been falling against US dollar.
“This is a proof of concept which can be implemented by the ministry of shipping in six other major ports with surplus dollar revenues towards raising cheaper financing in dollar terms,” said Vinod Bahety, senior president for corporate finance at Yes Bank.