Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rang the opening bell at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Friday to mark the listing of masala bonds sold by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), according to an official statement. KIIFB, a state government agency, had raised Rs 2,150 crore through its debut masala bond issue. KIIFB plans to raise Rs 5,000 crore through masala bonds to fund large and critical infrastructure projects in Kerala.
The Indian rupee denominated overseas bonds are popularly known as masala bonds.
“This was not only the first-ever offshore capital market issuance from a state-level entity from India, but also the largest dual currency issue by a sub-sovereign backed entity from the entire emerging markets and Asia,” the KIIFB had said.
The transaction was priced on March 26, 2019 and saw strong participation from a wide spectrum of investors which included asset managers, insurance companies, pension funds, banks as well as private wealth managers, it had said in the statement.
“With a view to establishing its credit profile and market standing, KIIFB had undertaken a detailed rating exercise through two international credit rating agencies - Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings,” the state agency had said in a statement.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted, "KIIFB's Masala bond has debuted on London Stock Exchange. It was a privilege to open the trading in London today. Kerala also became the first sub-sovereign entity in India to achieve such a feat. (sic)"
KIIFB's Masala bond has debuted on London Stock Exchange. It was a privilege to open the trading in London today. Kerala also became the first sub-sovereign entity in India to achieve such a feat.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) May 17, 2019
The masala bond market till date had seen issuance only from large Indian corporates and public institutions such as National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and NTPC which are all rated AAA in the domestic market.
Vijayan, who is on a 13-day trip to Europe from May 8, has participated in various programmes, including the United Nations (UN) World Reconstruction Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
The 2018 Kerala flood, which ravaged the state and claimed 483 lives, was among the major disasters reported globally last year, including the California wildfire and the floods in Japan.
The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report prepared by a UN team said Kerala would need Rs 31,000 crore for rebuilding.