IFR-Time is ripe for PFC to launch its USD offering

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 11:40 hrs

SINGAPORE, Nov 26 (IFR) - With Indian lender ICICI Bank already in the market today with a USD250m retap of its 4.7% Reg S/144a bonds due 2018, speculation is rife that Power Finance Corp will be the next Indian borrower to launch its sale as early as tomorrow.

Those aware of the deal said PFC is waiting for an explicit nod of the Reserve Bank of India on the sale, which is the final straw holding up the deal.

The central bank approval is expected today. In any case, PFC is all set to hit the market this week, sources said.

The GMTN of the company is already registered with the SGX. PFC is looking at 5- or 10-year tenors depending upon the demand and pricing. If there is enough interest, the company may even for a dual tranche sale.

Considering that the outstanding 2017 dollar bonds of IRFC, another state-owned non-banking lender, are trading around 260bp/250bp over US Treasuries, PFC could be looking at a coupon in the 3.125% area, assuming it will price around 270bp, or with very little premium to comps.

ICICI Bank is offering its bonds at 350bp over US Treasuries.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBS are mandated on the PFC's USD500m-USD750m Reg S sale. The company completed its roadshows on October 29.

PFC, meanwhile, has also invited bids for a minimum INR1bn (USD18m) dual-tranche tax free sale. The sale, which opens tomorrow (November 27), offers coupons of 7.22% and 7.38% for the 10- and 15-year bonds respectively. (manju.dalal@thomsonreuters.com; christopher.langner@thomsonreuters.com)

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