Adani Ports’ first bond issue in over 2 years lapped up, more coming – bankers

By Bhakti Tambe

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s largest private port operator, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, entered the bond market for the first time in over two years on Monday, with the issue garnering strong demand.

The fundraising follows the Supreme Court’s decision that the group is not required to undergo additional investigations beyond the market regulator’s current scrutiny.

The decision brought major relief to the conglomerate hit hard by allegations of wrongdoing by a U.S. short-seller.

Earlier in the day, the group’s port operator unit accepted bids aggregating to 5 billion rupees ($60.2 million) for two listed bonds, with one maturing in five years and the other in 10 at coupons of 7.80% and 7.90%, respectively.

The company received bids totalling 10 billon rupees, with participation from banks and insurance companies, according to three merchant bankers.

The company offered a coupon that was 15-20 basis points higher than those of similarly rated companies, the bankers said.

The higher coupon may have been offered to appease investors, as the group is currently gauging demand, said Venkatakrishnan Srinivasan, founder and managing partner at Rockfort Fincap.

Adani Ports last tapped the bond market in October 2021, raising 10 billion rupees at 6.25% coupon.

The group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ email seeking comments.

Trust Investment Advisors was the sole arranger to this issue.

Adani Ports, operating 13 ports and terminals in the country, had last week announced its intention to raise up to 50 billion rupees by issuing bonds in the coming months, mainly to refinance its existing debt.

The company has secured board approval to raise funds through a public issue of bonds, a banker who arranges bond for the group said.

“Adani Ports may look at raising up to 10 billion rupees via public issue soon. It has not yet started the paperwork or appointed lead managers,” the banker added.

(Reporting by Bhakti Tambe; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)