The Canadian Province of British Columbia on Monday celebrated the issuance of its Masala Bond on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the first foreign government entity to issue such a rupee-denominated bond in the Indian offshore market. The bond, a AAA rated bond which will mature on January 9, 2020, was celebrated with the opening bell for trading at LSE on Monday.
“From Vancouver to Delhi to London, this bond issuance is unprecedented and remarkable. British Columbia is recognised as an innovator among our triple-A credit rating peers and I am honoured to have the privilege of opening London Stock Exchange on behalf of the Province,” said Michael de Jong, British Columbia Minister of Finance.
The bond, announced back in September, raised USD 75 million (INR 5 billion) with 6.62 per cent semi-annual yield, securing high quality investor support from across Europe, Asia and America. “I am happy to note that British Columbia is the first sovereign to issue Masala Bonds in the Indian offshore market.
The success of Masala Bonds has demonstrated the confidence that international investors repose on India. “It is also a testimony to the centrality of the city of London and the London Stock Exchange to international financial markets and its links to the Indian economy,” said Dinesh Patnaik, Acting Indian High Commissioner to the UK. UK Foreign Office Minister for Asia, Alok Sharma, added: “The UK is the world’s leading international financial centre and the global home for Masala Bonds, with over USD 1.1 billion issued in London this year.”
“Through our dynamic financial services sector, the UK is strengthening our close and enduring ties with both Canada and India. Just last month, Prime Minister Theresa May made India her first major bilateral visit outside Europe, underlining the global significance of the UK-India partnership,” Sharma said.
The latest issuances bring the total number of Masala bonds listed on London Stock Exchange to 33, raising the equivalent to approximately USD 3.86 billion for Indian infrastructure. “We would like to congratulate the leadership shown by the Government of British Columbia in being the world’s first foreign government entity to issue a Masala Bond.
“British Columbia has always led the way in building new markets and we are proud they have chosen to access the widest range of global investors through London, the global centre for Masala bonds. Together we are building an exciting and deep additional channel of finance for Indian infrastructure,” said Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange. Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued to overseas buyers, aimed at investments into India’s infrastructure needs.
Meanwhile, FDI went up 60 per cent to USD 77.86 billion after the launch of Make in India initiative in September 2014, the government on Monday said.