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Kerala chief minister Vijayan rings LSE bell for KIIFB masala bond

Kerala chief minister Vijayan rings LSE bell for KIIFB masala bond – The Financial Express

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday became the first chief minister in India to ring the ceremonial trading bell at LSE (London Stock exchange).

KIIFB is the first Indian sub-sovereign entity to get a masala bond listed on LSE.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday became the first chief minister in India to ring the ceremonial trading bell at LSE (London Stock exchange).

LSE had invited him to open the day’s trading and mark the listing of `2,150-crore worth bellwether masala bonds of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), which is floated by the state government.

A masala bond is a rupee-denominated Indian debt paper sold overseas. KIIFB is the first Indian sub-sovereign entity to get a masala bond listed on LSE.

“That the masala bond of KIIFB garnered this much money is not the achievement. The point is that it could be a gamechanger in the way in which a government raises resources for infrastructure-building,” Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Isaac told mediapersons in London, after the historic moment.

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Across the next five years, Kerala needs about `50,000 crore for modernising its social and physical infrastructure, the chief minister said at the presentation in London.

“In fact, Tamil Nadu and Telengana governments had considered similar off-budget structures earlier. Its just that it was Kerala that brought it to fructuation,” he said.

Several fiscally-stressed Indian states are keeping a keen eye on the response to KIIFB’s masala bonds. “Senior officials from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana had been making inquiries on the working of Pravasi Chitti too,” Peelipose Thomas, chairman, KSFE, which runs Kerala’s Pravasi Chitti instrument, told FE.

The issue had an institutional investor anchoring the issue and saw a wide spectrum of investors ranging from asset managers, hedge funds and personal banks. It was priced at 9.723 % per annum.

RBI had granted its approval for floating the masala bond in June 2018 but the KIIFB had been biding its time for a ripe moment in the currency market.

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Source: Financial Express