Stocks

Rupee’s surge may slowdown record Indian debt fund-raising

Bloomberg Mumbai | Updated on July 04, 2019 Published on July 04, 2019

India Inc’s record pace of debt fund-raising may be set to slow as a jump in hedging costs makes those deals more expensive.

Since the start of the year, local companies have raised a record $12.9 billion via offshore bonds and $12.3 billion from loans, the highest in three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Falling dollar, borrowing costs and improved investor appetite for emerging-market debt have driven the spree.

But the jump in deals has also raised the cost to hedge against moves in exchange rates, diminishing the attractiveness of borrowing overseas for companies. Forward premiums in the currency market shot up to the highest since May 2017 last week, as demand for hedging contracts surged.

The Reserve Bank of India has also not swapped dollars for rupees since April, which helped cool increases in forward premiums.

“It is a concern for everybody if there’s a lot of foreign loans outstanding and premiums are rising due to that,” said Prabal Banerjee, Group Finance Director at conglomerate Bajaj Group. “Many good companies have borrowed funds via offshore bond issuance. This has led forward premia to go through the roof.”

The RBI has swapped a total of $10 billion in March and April, with demand topping targets at both months currency swap auctions. “RBI has taken steps in the past to absorb dollar inflows through currency swaps, which had the effect of bringing down the forward premiums,” said Banerjee. “RBI may need to take more steps if premium levels stay elevated.”

Published on July 04, 2019
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.