Bharti Airtel to raise $400 million in overseas debt shortly

bharti airtel

Mumbai, Apr 6: As part of its USD 2 billion debt raising plan, India’s largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel is set to tap the overseas bond markets again with USD 400 million issue later this month to repay high cost loans.

“Bharti will be raising around USD 400 million in the next three-four weeks from an overseas offering,” a merchant banker associated with the issue told PTI.

Bankers expect the issue to go through by the end of this month or early next month, the source said, declining to give further details as the issue is still under the works.

Recent media report said the New Delhi-headquartered Bharti is targeting to raise USD 2 billion through bond sales to refinance its existing debt and lowering finance costs.

Notably, the telecom major has been very busy on the international fund raising activity during the last fiscal. It had raised USD 400 million equivalent from the Swiss market last month, after the 250-million euro issue in January and another 750-million euro issue in December. That apart, it has raised USD 1.5 billion in two tranches in March 2013.

The domestic companies overseas bond street journey was opened by Indian Railway Finance Corporation in early January with a USD 500 million issue, which got subscriptions of USD 3 billion and was priced at a coupon of 3.917 per cent.

After a massive bond sale last year worth USD 16 billion, up 60 per cent over 2012, the domestic companies have been going slow to tap international bond market following rising interest rates there.

Overseas fund raising ebbed after the May 24, 2013 tapering talk by the US Fed, which spiked interest rates in Western markets. Since then there were only a few issues including HDFC Bank’s USD 500 million last year.