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Largest Indian power company NTPC has mandated Axis Bank, HSBC, MUFG and Standard Chartered Bank as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners for an offering of Green Masala bonds. This would be the first corporate Masala bond offering to commit proceeds to Green projects, after HDFC opened the offshore rupee bond market for corporate issuers earlier this month.
NTPC plans to raise 10 billion rupees ($149 million), plus a greenshoe option, from the Reg S offshore rupee offering, according to market sources. The bonds will be denominated in rupees but settled in US dollars. Bookbuilding will potentially happen next week and the bonds will be listed on the London Stock Exchange and Singapore Exchange.
NTPC is rated BBB- (Stable) by both S&P and Fitch. India Ratings & Research in a note earlier this week said that public sector units and quasi-sovereign companies will come into to the market to diversify their funding in this round of Masala bond issuances.
However, some bankers are still questioning how many issuers are willing to bear the extra cost of India's 5 percent withholding tax, making it slightly more expensive for them to issue rupee bonds offshore.
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