THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday opened the floor for trading at the prestigious London Stock Exchange (LSE). He was at the LSE for the listing ceremony of a masala bond from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).
Mr Pinarayi became the first Chief Minister from India to have been invited by LSE for the listing ceremony which took place at local time 8 am. Finance minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, KIIFB CEO K.M. Abraham attended the function.
After the event, the Chief Minister told mediapersons in London that his government was committed to improve the infrastructure facilities for attracting industrial investments. The financial resources will never be a hurdle in putting in place infrastructure facilities of the international standards.
The government was making such interventions as it was aware of the fact that Kerala is still behind as an industrial investment destination. The government has created investment friendly rules and framework for ease of business.
The government is of the opinion that `2,150 crore masala bonds sold by KIIFB would help in attracting investments and funds for the mission Rebuild Kerala. The state is in the process of rebuilding the state post devastating floods in 2018.
KIIFB became the first state level firm in India to be listed in the LSE .
“London Stock Exchange welcomes Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board’s debut Masala bond, the first sub-sovereign entity in India to tap the offshore rupee international bond market. The bond has been admitted to London Stock Exchange’s International Securities Market", LSE said at the launch.
KIIFB Chief Executive Officer K.M. Abraham said; “This is a milestone transaction for KIIFB and Kerala. KIIFB is the first sub-sovereign entity in India to access the international debt capital markets in this manner. This transaction has accomplished our objective of diversifying our sources of funding by accessing capital from international investors."
“LSE warmly congratulates KIIFB on its landmark Masala bond debut. Our markets have enabled issuers to raise over $7.5 billion equivalent, allowing Masala bonds to evolve from a specialist segment to a mainstream asset class. KIIFB’s bond highlights London’s status as a leading international financing centre, offering issuers access to the deepest pool of long-term international investor capital as well as best in class listing solutions, said Darko Hajdukovic, Head of Fixed Income, Funds & Analytics, UK Primary Markets, LSE.
“LSE is the largest Masala bond centre globally. 49 Masala bonds have been listed across our markets raising in total over $7.5 billion equivalent,” he added.
The LSE is the oldest stock exchange in the world and more than 2,600 companies belonging to 60 countries are listed here. After formally opening the market, the Chief Minister interacted with LSE officials.