Reliance Raises $4 Billion In India’s Largest-Ever Foreign Currency Bonds Issue

Reliance has raised $4 billion in debt through the largest ever foreign currency bond issue

New Delhi:

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Thursday said it has raised $4 billion (around Rs 30,000 crore) in debt through the largest ever foreign currency bond issuance by an Indian entity.

The oil-to-telecom conglomerate plans to use the proceeds of the three tranche issues to retire existing borrowings.

The issue was “nearly 3 times oversubscribed with a peak order book aggregating around USD 11.5 billion,” the company said in a statement.

This is the largest ever foreign currency bond transaction in India, eclipsing ONGC Videsh Limited’s $2.2 billion US dollar bonds issue of 2014.

Reliance raised $1.5 billion in a 10-year issue at a coupon or interest rate of 2.875 per cent, $1.75 billion in a 30-year deal at a 3.625 per cent rate and $750 million in a 40-year issue at a 3.75 per cent coupon rate.

This is the first time any BBB-rated Asian company outside of Japan has issued a 40-year dollar bond.

The bonds in 10-year, 30-year and 40-year maturities are due to repayment between 2032 and 2062.

Reliance plans to use the proceeds to retire some of the existing debt, including a $1.5 billion loan that is due to mature in February.

The company said the bonds carry coupons (interest rate) linked to US treasuries. The 10-year notes will carry a coupon rate that is 1.2 percentage points above the 10-year US treasury note, the 30-year bond will offer 160 basis points over the corresponding US government bond and the 40-year note will give 170 basis points over the respective US Treasury note.

This, it said, represents the “tightest ever implied credit spread” over US Treasury notes by an Indian company.

The Notes are rated BBB by S&P and Baa2 by Moody’s.

Stating that with this, it has joined a select group of issuers from Asia to have made jumbo bond issuances, Reliance said 53 per cent of the money was raised from Asia, 14 per cent from Europe and 33 per cent in the United States.

In terms of investor profile, 69 per cent went to fund managers, 24 per cent to insurance companies, 5 per cent to banks and 2 per cent to public institutions.

“This transaction is significant on various counts – (it is) the largest-ever foreign currency bond issuance from India, tightest ever implied credit spread over the respective US Treasury across each of the 3 tranches by an Indian Corporate, lowest coupon achieved for benchmark 30-year and 40-year issuances by a private sector BBB corporate from Asia ex-Japan, and first-ever 40-year tranche by a BBB private sector corporate from Asia ex-Japan,” the statement said.

Reliance is a net-zero debt firm with its cash balance of Rs 2.59 lakh crore, exceeding its gross debt of Rs 2.55 lakh crore as of September 30, 2021.

Its existing cash, along with expected cash flows from operations, will be sufficient to cover its cash outflows for capital spending and debt maturities in the next 18 months, Moody’s Investors Service had said earlier this week.

In November 2021, it received around Rs 26,600 crore in proceeds from the final call on its rights issue, which further enhanced its liquidity.

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