Tuesday, December 05, 2006

State Bank of India Hires 3 Managers for $300 Million Bond Sale

State Bank of India, the country's biggest lender, hired Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG to manage a $300 million bond sale to raise funds for lending to customers.

State Bank of India may price the five-year floating-rate notes to yield between 0.5 percentage points to 0.55 percentage points more than the three-month London interbank offered rate, said two bankers involved in the deal, who declined to be named because of confidentiality agreements. Three-month Libor, a benchmark for corporate borrowing, was 5.35 percent yesterday.

The company, which has 100 million customers, is raising funds to compete with rivals such as ICICI Bank Ltd. ICICI Bank increased loans by 47 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, more than twice State Bank of India's 21 percent loan growth.

Yogesh Agarwal, State Bank of India's managing director in Mumbai, wasn't immediately available to comment.

Standard & Poor's ranks the Mumbai-based bank's long-term debt BB+, one rung below investment level. Moody's Investors Service has a Baa2 rating, the ninth-highest investment grade.

The bank has 187 billion rupees ($4.2 billion) of bonds outstanding, according to Bloomberg data. The company's Baa2- rated $100 million of floating-rate notes maturing in 2010, sold in December 2005, pay 0.6 percentage points over Libor.

India's economy will expand more than 8 percent for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund, stoking demand for credit from companies and consumers. Bank loans have increased more than 35 percent in the past two years.

source :-bloomberg


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