Axis Bank hits overseas debt market with $500M issue

Top private lender Axis Bank today hit the overseas debt market with a benchmark issue to raise atleast USD 500 million in a 5.5-year money, merchant banking sources said here.

"Axis Bank today launched a fixed-rate senior unsecured notes in the dollar-denominated debt market to raise at least USD 500 million. Depending on the pricing and demand, the bank may raise more than USD 500 million through these Regulation S notes," a merchant banker told PTI.

India's third largest private lender has given a price guidance of 1.95 per cent above the US treasury, the sources said, adding the money will be raised through the Dubai branch of Axis Bank and instruments listed on Singapore Stock Exchange.

The book runners to the issue are Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan and StanChart.

The bank was not immediately available for comments.

Meanwhile, international rating agency Fitch has assigned 'BBB-(exp)' rating to the issue.

"Axis Bank's IDR is driven by its viability rating of 'bbb-', which denotes its standalone creditworthiness. It reflects the strength of its franchise, satisfactory asset quality, improved capitalisation and growing profitability.

"The bank's increased focus on retail customers has helped it to diversify loan and funding mix and reduce concentration risk since FY11," Fitch said.

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