August 2, 2019 / 6:43 AM / 17 days ago

India's oil minister urges local oil firms to boost overseas funding

FILE PHOTO: India's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaks at a road show organised by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) in Mumbai, India, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Friday he wants state-owned oil companies to boost their overseas borrowings, replicating the funding success of the country’s renewable industry.

With funding from local banks and non-banking financial companies drying up following a bad loan and credibility crisis in the financial sector, top global pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and private equity companies have stepped in to fill the gap, especially in equity capital.

Many companies have also raised debt via overseas bonds.

Most of the overseas money, however, has gone to private companies, especially in renewable energy, leaving state-owned oil firms such as Indian Oil Corp Ltd, Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd companies relying on traditional domestic routes.

“India’s growing energy sector is attractive for foreign investment,” Pradhan said at BNEF energy summit being held at New Delhi.

With India’s economy expected to grow at 7%, he forecast more funding would flow to energy sector.

“Many companies have successfully raised funding through overseas bond market and this funding route is likely to grow many fold going forward,” he said.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Richard Pullin

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