BPCL, ONGC pip Reliance in overseas fundraising

Thanks to aggressive acquisition of oil assets abroad, government-owned BPCL and ONGC are set to overtake Reliance Industries in overseas fundraising in 2016-17. Reliance was the topper among corporate India in raising funds during the past five years.
The change in the league tables comes against a backdrop of a slowdown in fundraising by Indian corporates during the year. Overseas fundraising by Indian companies slowed to $19.02 billion in 2016-17 from $21.06 billion in 2015-16.
BPCL and ONGC raised $4.9 billion in 2016-17 against $1.65 billion raised by Reliance. ONGC raised $2 billion and State Bank of India raised $1.7 billion.
Analysts said Reliance was slowing new investments and its requirements of funds had declined substantially. The state-owned oil companies, on the other hand, are raising funds for acquisitions abroad, which led to their need for dollar-denominated loans.
Reliance has the biggest appetite for funds, having raised $14.85 billion over the past five years to fund its telecom services and expand its petrochemicals capacity.
“Most of the fundraising by Reliance now is to refinance old loans and it refinanced loans worth $1.75 billion just this week,” said a banker.
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ONGC and BPCL raised $9.1 billion and $6.5 billion, respectively, in the past five years, according to statistics with the Reserve Bank of India.
Last year, a consortium of state-owned oil companies led by ONGC, BPCL and Oil India had invested $3.2 billion to acquire stakes in two Russian oil fields. The funds were raised abroad because interest rates were lower overseas, said a banker.
Bankers said fundraising by Indian companies would climb in 2017-18 on a revival in economic activity. “There will be an increase in the capital needed by Indian companies. As Indian banks will not be able to meet this demand, top corporates will borrow abroad, where the rates are better,” said Prabal Banerji, head of international finance at the Bajaj group.
BPCL, ONGC pip Reliance in overseas fundraising

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