RIL hits overseas markets with third bond issue, raises $1.5 b

Last Updated 07 October 2012, 08:34 IST

The country's largest corporate Reliance Industries (RIL), which is sitting on a cash pile of nearly Rs 73,000 crore, is on a debt-raising spree again and has mopped up USD 1.5 billion through an overseas bond sale progamme over the weekend, two people with the direct knowledge of the development said.

With the latest debt raising, the Mukesh Ambani-led oil, gas, petrochemicals and retail giant has raised USD 4 billion so far this year, with the first two being a USD 1.5-billion issue in February and another USD 1 billion issue in May.

While RIL spokesperson refused to comment, the banks which snapped up the issue could not be reached.

Of the USD 2.5 billion raised by RIL (which still is one of the least leveraged large corporates in the country with less than 0.50 percent debt-equity ratio) earlier, the proceeds from first issue of USD 1.5 billion were mopped up by its US subsidiary for its shale gas programme, while the other was meant for its Jamnagar complex expansion.

The current funds will also be used to finance its capital expansion programme as planned.

The latest unsecured syndicated loan has two maturities. While USD 1 billion are a six-year US dollar money, the rest USD 500 million are a 7.25-year money, according to sources, who did not reveal the pricing of the issue.

This is the first longest tenor unsecured syndicated debt raised by an Asian issuer this year.

The instrument, sold in the North American, European, Asian and Australian markets, was snapped by as many as 28 international and domestic banks with the major ones being State Bank,  Bank of America, Bank of Nova Scotia, the ANZ Banking Group, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Corp, HSBC Group and RBS, the sources said, adding the i-banking arms of these bankers acted as the merchant bankers to the deal.

The sources also said, the company, which has a AAA rating, did not encourage oversubscription and also did not do any marketing but sill got full subscription.

Many domestic companies, mostly banks, have been selling their debt in overseas markets this year.

After RIL, SBI's USD 1.25-billion bond sale in July was the largest so far this year. It was followed by Exim Bank's USD 750 million debt sale in two installments in August and September.

Others who raised money from overseas bond market include ICICI Bank, Bank of India, Union Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Syndicate Bank, Axis Bank, and IDBI Bank, who have raised more than USD 3 billion in the past two months.

(Published 07 October 2012, 08:34 IST)

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