HDFC & NHAI may Raise ₹ 10k cr in Masala Bonds
Mumbai: Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) are set to raise funds from the international markets as US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates at least three times this year. Together, they could raise up to ₹ 10,000 crore by selling rupeedominated masala bonds (`5,000 crore each) to investors before the end of this fiscal year largely, said multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter. An email sent to NHAI remained unanswered till the time of going to press.
“We have received in-principle approval to raise another ₹ 5,000 crore via rupee-denominated bonds,” Keki Mistry, vice chairman, HDFC, told ET.
“We will deploy the proceeds in housing loans as we see larger demand over time as a result of the government’s continued focus on housing. We will look for a right time to enter the market and borrow money under the pro- gramme,” he said.
“India is an attractive investment destination and the confidence of foreign investors is reflected in their continuing interest in investing in equity and debt of Indian companies,” he said. While NHAI has appointed three bankers — Axis Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Nomura, HDFC is in talks with bankers, sources said. Individual banks could not be contacted immediately for comments. “Bankers would be aiming to raise the whole sum or most of it, before the financial year ends as US rate increases look imminent, adding to borrowing cost,” said a senior banker.
HDFC, India’s largest mortgage lender, was the first to tap the masala bond market last year collectively raising ₹ 5,000 crore worth of masala bonds. These bonds, listed on the London Stock Exchange, has three-year maturities and are priced a few basis points lower than its domestic corporate bond rates.