Rural Electrification Postpones Overseas Bond Sale

Rural Electrification Corp., India’s state-controlled lender to power projects, postponed a $500 million bond sale to January, according to Finance Director Hari Das Khunteta.

The sale was postponed because of “adverse market conditions” due to the Irish debt crisis and tensions in the Korean peninsula, he said in a phone interview today from New Delhi. “We are looking at the second week of January.”

Indian companies have sold $8.7 billion of bonds overseas in 2010, closing on the record $9.3 billion of offshore debt sales in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The nation’s largest lender State Bank of India raised 750 million euros ($995 million) last month selling 4.75 percent bonds maturing in 2015.

Rural Electrification hired Credit Agricole CIB, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, and Standard Chartered Plc to help manage the sale. The planned bond sale is rated BBB- by Fitch Ratings, matching India’s sovereign rating, Khunteta said.

Credit default swaps on State Bank of India, a proxy for the government in the global bond market, rose three basis points this week to 175 basis points as of Dec. 2, according to data provider CMA. Credit swaps protect against bond defaults and serve as a barometer of creditworthiness.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anurag Joshi in Mumbai at ajoshi53@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: William McSheehy at wmcsheehy@bloomberg.net

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