LSE welcomed 10-year long 10 billion INR 'masala' bonds and India Sovereign Enterprise Bonds called 'curry bonds'

What, "Masala Bonds" and "Curry Bonds"? 10-year Indian Rupee Bonds debut at London Stock Exchange

Archana Venkatraman

In a significant step in fostering UK-Indian relationships, the London Stock Exchange  (LSE) welcomed 10 billion Indian Rupee ($163 million) denominated bond issue. The 10-year bonds are the longest-dated Rupee bonds listed on LSE. In addition, Indian sovereign enterprise bonds were also listed in LSE.

Dubbed "masala bonds", the 10 billion INR bonds were issued by IFC, a World Bank member. The bonds will yield 6.3% and the proceeds raised from them will be exclusively invested in India’s infrastructure projects.

Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury attended the 10-year Indian bond welcome event and said: As the [UK] government’s representative for the Indian diaspora, I am pleased to have Britain front and centre in this investment in India’s future.”

She further said: “As we continue to strengthen Britain’s relationship with India, the IFC’s bond issue in London is welcome news, and is testament to our position as a global financial centre. Infrastructure and financial services were two of the main areas identified for partnership between the UK and India during the recent Economic and Financial Dialogue between the Chancellor and Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley."

The new Indian bonds in the prestigious London exchange was announced by Indian PM Narendra Modi during his high-profile visit to the UK last week.

The majority of investors are European asset managers. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “Increasing our links with India has been a personal priority for me which is why I went to see Prime Minister Modi earlier this year to promote our economic relations and gave my backing to the new Gandhi statue in parliament square.

If we can create these strong financial links between our two countries as well, then the ties will be deeper still which is why I have been personally pushing for Rupee bonds to be issued in the UK markets and I am delighted this is now going ahead''.

First Masala bonds, then Curry Bonds!

Curry Bonds listed on London Stock Exchange - joint effort from London's Sun Global Investments and Mumbai's ZyFin Funds
Curry Bonds listed on London Stock Exchange - joint effort from London's Sun Global Investments and Mumbai's ZyFin Funds

In addition, London Stock Exchange welcomed an India Sovereign Enterprise Bond issued jointly by Mumbai-based ZyFin Funds and London-based Sun Global Investments. The bond is the first ETF to offer international investors exposure to a basket of Indian public sector corporate bonds. The fixed income ETF will also be Europe’s first physically replicating Indian ETF, backed by real underlying securities as opposed to notional securities or derivatives.

London Stock Exchange has seen 145 ETFs listed on its market in 2015, already surpassing the total number of ETFs listed in 2014.

Mihir Kapadia, chief executive of London's Sun Global Investments, said: "At a time when developed bond market yields are at very low levels, we are delighted to be able to offer global investors this innovative, high-yield ETF giving unique access to the relatively untapped Indian public sector bond market.

The listing reflects our view that India is emerging as one of the most attractive places to invest in the world and, by listing the ETF in London, puts the UK at the forefront of developing India’s bond market."

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