The tax-free bonds of Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) received bids of over Rs 300 crore on the very first day after it opened for subscription on Monday, according to distributors of the bonds. IRFC plans to raise Rs 1,000 crore through the offering and could also consider an unspecified green shoe option through private placement. The bond issue will be open for subscription till December 3.

The decent response to the issue comes amid tight liquidity conditions in the system, with banks borrowing over Rs 1 lakh crore through the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) auctions.

“The pre-tax annualised yield works out to 9.68% for a seven-year tenor and 10.30% in 10-year tenor for banks and corporates at the tax rate of 33.66%. For individuals, the pre-tax annualised yield (tax rate of 30.90%) will work out to be 9.30% in the seven-year tenure and 9.89% in the 10-year tenure,” Arvind Konar, head of fixed income, Almondz Global Securities , said. It offers a premium over the AAA-rated corporate bonds of same maturity, he said.

“The premium spread is a huge 150-155 basis points in the 10-year maturity and around 65 basis points for the five-year maturity on a pre-tax basis compared with AAA-rated PSU bonds,” he said.

Secured, non-convertible, redeemable, tax-free bonds in the nature of promissory notes will have a tenure of five years, seven years and 10 years with a coupon rate of 6.05%, 6.32% and 6.72%, respectively, on a semi-annual basis. Bonds will not have any put or call option and the allotment will be done on a day-priority basis.

Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Almondz, Standard Chartered, and SBI Capital Markets are among the 15 arrangers to the issue. The minimum subscription for the tax-free bonds is Rs 1 lakh.

IRFC is raising money from the market to part-finance the plan outlay of Indian Railways. Every financial year, IRFC raises funds by borrowing in the market for meeting its financing needs. Banks, FIs, insurance companies, MFs and resident individuals can apply for these bonds, while Hindu undivided firms, partnership firms, overseas corporate bodies and FIIs cannot invest.

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