Health Care and Tech Seen Boosting India Offshore Loan Volumes

  • IT spending in India to reach $72.4 billion in 2017: Gartner
  • Axis sees healthcare firms borrowing for capex, tech for M&As

India’s drug, health-care and technology borrowers are emerging as key drivers for the nation’s international loan volumes.

Foreign-currency borrowings undertaken by these companies hit a record $1.05 billion in 2017, compared with $760 million in the same period a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Health-care and pharmaceutical companies will seek international loans this year to fund capital expenditure, while technology borrowers might require funding for potential acquisitions, according to Sidharth Rath, group executive for corporate and transaction banking at Axis Bank Ltd., India’s third-largest private sector lender.

“There is scope for further event-driven funding by pharma and tech companies as these sectors are constantly seeking acquisition opportunities,” said Manmohan Singh, head of banking at the Indian unit of Bank of Nova Scotia in Mumbai. “The companies in these sectors have suitable debt capacity.”

  • Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. raised an equivalent of $755 million via pound and euro tranches to fund its purchase of some of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s assets in the U.K. and Ireland.
  • MU Sigma Inc. launched a $400 million three-year loan to syndication in March, according to a person familiar with the matter, while Aster DM Healthcare Pvt. is marketing a $295 million loan. 
  • Technology spending in India will rise about 7 percent to $72.4 billion in 2017 as the south nation boosts manufacturing and online infrastructure under its “Make in India” and “Digital India” initiatives, a Gartner Inc. report said in November.
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