Wednesday, November 20, 2013

IFC Rupee Bond success

IFC issued INR 1000 Cr of bonds to global investors which has been lapped up happily by foreign investors. For starters, it is a 3 year bond which got issued at coupon of 7.75%. The money collected by IFC will be invested into Indian companies and the investors take the currency risk. It leads to the question what are the foreign investors trying to tell us with the cut-off for the bond issue.

This leads to a direct question of why the coupon has been fixed at 7.75% not close to 9.25% where current 3Y corporate issues (AAA) should be trading at - as the currency risk is with the investors. 

As per my understanding, the intermediation of IFC is taking care of two main risks for which the investors are sacrificing close to 150 bps of yield pick-up despite taking on currency risk on INR:
1. Credit Risk: Even if the Indian corporates to whom IFC lends money defaults, the investors will still get back the money in INR terms. It is to be noted that IFC is AAA rated in $ terms.
2. Convertibility risk: Investors are assured of dollars at the end of 3 years; they are exposed to capital gain / loss depending on INR spot levels but they need the assurance of getting the dollars at the end of three years. Without IFC mediation, they could end up not being able to convert the INR into dollars - sounds like a risk India might totally stop outflows if things go further wrong from here.

Just for the record,US Treasuries for 3Y are at 0.60%; 5y BBB- (India rating) spread is close to 300 bps. Hence, India's dollar yield should be close to 3.60% for 3 years. For corporates, there would be a further spread of 60-70 bps taking the Corporate yield in dollar terms to 4.30%.  With INR yield of corporates trading at 9.30%, the IFC issue of 7.75% suggests foreign investors are pricing in the credit risk of AAA Indian corporates and Convertibility of INR to USD at 155 bps. 

Business Standard Link

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