New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari is all set to make an address at the famed London Stock Exchange on May 11 documenting India's infrastructure reforms and hardselling the growth story for ploughing in more investment.
The road transport, highways and shipping minister, whose visit may coincide with NHAI's debut masala bond issuance, is also slated to open trading for the LSE.
"Gadkari has been invited by the London Stock Exchange to address its guests and the media on the Government of India's initiatives in infrastructure and opportunities for investors to participate in India's growth story. The minister will also open the market for the LSE for trading on May 11, 2017," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
The masala bond is expected to list on the LSE shortly. The minister last month said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will soon raise Rs 5,000 crore through green masala bonds to be listed on the LSE. Masala bonds are a key initiative encouraged by the government, the statement said, adding that they have been gaining traction among foreign investors.
"Until recently, the ability of Indian companies and other issuers to borrow from the overseas market was predominantly limited to foreign currencies, but masala bonds have finally taken off, giving Indian companies from various sectors the ability to access international capital markets and raise financing without taking on the attendant exchange rate risk," the statement said.
What Indian companies need to do now is to access the masala bond market to enhance its liquidity and give international investors the opportunity of exposure to the Indian rupee, it added. It further said that given its strong linkages to the Indian government and its strategically important role for the economy, the NHAI is uniquely placed to help attract the widest possible investors to the masala bond market and help develop it.
"Towards this objective, the NHAI has been conducting a global investor engagement exercise targeted at the world's largest supra nationals and sovereign wealth funds, global macro funds and international asset managers. This exercise is expected to culminate in London," the statement said. Axis Bank, Nomura, SBI Capital and Standard Chartered, which have been hired to manage the bond issuance, are conducting the roadshows.
The rupee-denominated offshore bonds, popularly known as masala bonds, got a tax benefit in the budget for 2017-18. The instrument has been exempted from taxation for transfer among non-residents while a low rate of 5 per cent will be applicable for investors till 2020.