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RIL raises $800 m from 10-yr bonds

Statesman News Service | Mumbai |

Within a week of global rating agency Moody’s announcement of raising India’s sovereign bond rating by one notch to Baa2, the country’s biggest listed entity by market capitalisation Reliance Industries Limited has hit the off-shore debt market with an offer to sell corporate bonds worth $800 million.

RIL is one of the few companies besides HPCL, BPCL and IOC upgraded by Moody’s from Baa3 to Baa2 which should boost fund raising programme of Mukesh Ambani owned petrochemical and telecommunication giant, say analysts. RIL is the first to benefit from reasonably low cost fund raising in view of sovereign debt elevation by Moody’s.

RIL entering global debt market lifted its share on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange on Tuesday. RIL was among gainers that led Dalal Street rally. RIL seeks to substantially cut its debts which stood at `2,14,145 crore as on 30 September. The company is sitting on a cash pile of `77,014 crore but seems to have decided to raise finance and bring the debt burden down as early as possible. The company has so far invested more than `1.40 lakh crore in chairman Ambani’s ambitious telecom venture Reliance Jio Infocomm.

RJio turned commercial in April 2017, seven months after its launch. In Q2, it reported a net loss of Rs 270 crore. But Moody’s thinks the company has potential to raise necessary funds and bring its debts down. Moody’s, which assigned Baa2 rating to the unsecured bond sale, in a note said, “the Baa2 rating reflects RIL’s ability to generate operating cash flows with an annual EBITDA of over more than $10 billion from its large scale integrated refining and petro-chemical operations that generate strong margin and its nascent but growing digital service business.”

Moody’s expects large cash outflows from RIL over the next 18 month by way of debt clearance.

The 30-share Sensitive Index of BSE and 50-scrip Nifty of NSE after a steady start resumed with upside momentum.

The indices held on to their gains mainly on account of liquidity flow from domestic institutional investors and mutual funds on behalf of retail investors. Besides RIL, metal, banks, consumer durables and a few heavyweights such as Bharti Airtel were in the lead of the rally.

Sensex closed at 33,478.35 (+118.45) points, up 0.36 per cent. Nifty at 10,326.90 (+28.15) points increased 0.27 per cent. Bank Nifty settled flat with negative bias due to late profit booking in bank shares at 25,757.50 (-11.10) points, down 0.04 per cent. In Sensex 20 shares advanced, 10 declined and one remained unchanged. For Nifty it was 29:20:1. Gainers in BSE benchmark included Dr Reddy’s Lab `2,395, 5.17 per cent, Bharti Airtel `503.10, 2.12 per cent, Tata Steel `711.80, 1.58 per cent and RIL `933.05, 1.55 per cent.

The Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) on the other hand are still in sell off or profit booking mode. Their top concern remains valuations. But regardless of profit booking FPIs have so far invested $8.24 billion in shares and $22.23 billion in bonds in 2017.

Analysts say the market would trade steady with little chance of consolidation until the Gujarat assembly election results are out. There is no immediate trigger in sight except Bharatiya Janata Party’s fate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.