NHAI issues tax-free bonds to raise up to Rs3,300 cr

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) today launched a public issue of tax-free, secured, redeemable non-convertible bonds of face value of Rs1,000 each for an amount of Rs500 crore with an option to retain over subscription of up to an additional Rs2,800 crore, aggregating up to a total of Rs3,300 crore.

The interest income on bonds is exempted from levy of income tax in the hands of the investors as per the notification issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 6 July 2015.

The coupon rate for Category I, Category II and Category III investors, ie, qualified institutional buyers, corporates and high net worth individuals will be 7.04 per cent and 7.39 per cent for tenures of 10 years and 15 years, respectively, in Series IA and series IIA.

The coupon rate for Category IV investors, ie, retail individual ivestors will be 7.29 per cent and 7.69 per cent for tenures of 10 years and 15 years respectively in Series IB and series IIB.

The issue, which opened for subscription today, is scheduled to close on 1 March 2016, with an option for early closure or extension as may be decided by the board of members or the bond committee.

The bonds are proposed to be listed on the BSE Limited and NSE and have been rated 'IND AAA' by IRRPL, ' CARE AAA' by CARE, "[ICRA] AAA'' by ICRA and 'Crisil AAA/Stable' by Crisil.

SBI Capital Markets Ltd, AK Capital Services Ltd, Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd, ICICI Securities Ltd and Axis Capital Ltd are the lead managers to the issue. Karvy Computer Share Private Limited is the registrar to the issue while SBICAP Trustee Company Limited is the bond trustee to the issue.

The funds raised through this issue will be utilised for the part financing of various on-going projects under the NHDP and also various special projects and future projects to be awarded under different modes.