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UPDATE 1-ICICI Bank picks banks for up to $1 bln bond issue
March 20, 2012 / 3:32 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-ICICI Bank picks banks for up to $1 bln bond issue

* Mandates Citi, StanChart, Merrill Lynch and HSBC
    * Bond issue likely to be launched later this month

 (Adds details, background)	
    By Archana Narayanan and Sumeet Chatterjee	
    MUMBAI, March 20 (Reuters) - India's ICICI Bank 
plans to raise up to $1 billion through a 10-year overseas bond
issue as early as this month, two sources with direct knowledge
said, signalling a pick-up in overseas bond issuances on
improved global liquidity.	
    ICICI Bank, the country's top private lender, has hired
Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC
 and Standard Chartered for the issue, said the
sources, declining to be named as the process is not public yet.	
    "We continously keep exploring various avenues of fund
raising in form of public bond issuances and private placements
under the GMTN, based on market conditions and pricing apart
from loans and money markets," the bank spokesman said.	
    GMTN refers to the global medium term notes programme.	
    ICICI Bank's planned bond launch and pricing would depend on
market conditions, said one of the sources on Tuesday.	
    Indian issuers of overseas bonds, kept on the sidelines by
volatile markets, are looking once again at the dollar market
after energy conglomerate Reliance Industries cracked
open the route with a $1 billion, 10-year bond deal last month.	
    Axis Bank, India's third-biggest private lender,
swiftly followed with a $500 million, September 2017 issue at a
spread of 440 basis points over the U.S. Treasuries, to become
the first lender to issue a dollar bond since May.	
    ICICI Bank last month raised $160 million through a one-year
floating rate notes at 200 basis points over three-month Libor,
according to IFR. 	
    Many Indian issuers are in talks with investment banks to
explore the possibility of overseas fund issues or to revisit
plans shelved due to poor investor sentiment because of the euro
zone debt crisis last year, analysts said.	
    Earlier this month, state-run Indian Overseas Bank 
picked seven banks to raise $500 million through bonds from the
overseas markets. 	
    Companies including Union Bank of India, Essar
Group software services firm Aegis, and Bharti Airtel 
may also soon look at reviving their dollar fund raising plans. 	
    Investor interest has picked up significantly for Indian
issuers especially at the current levels, bankers said.	
    Issuers are exploring fundraising opportunities abroad for
their expansion plans as domestic interest rates remain high,
they said. The central bank has raised rates 13 times in the
last two years.	
    The rate hikes have paused but not many expect a drastic
fall in the interest rates as inflation remains high.	
 (Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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