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DHFL plans to raise up to Rs 15,000 crore via bonds

MUMBAI: Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) is set to launch this year's largest retail bond sale, raising up to Rs 15,000 crore for funding home loans as the demand for affordable apartments surges in the worlds fastest-expanding major economy.

DHFL is the flagship company of Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC) group. The issue is rated triple-A by Care and Brickwork Ratings, two domestic rating companies.

Three people close to the sale told ET that the issue could be between Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 15,000 crore. The company declined to comment on the matter.

The bond sale is likely to begin this week-end or early next week, offering coupons, expected in the range of 8.75-9.10% across maturities. On an average, the rates would be less than what the company offered two years ago, reflecting a lower cost of borrowing for the mortgage financier.

The company has been able to reduce its cost of funds, which was pegged at 8.75% for the capital market borrowing in the first half of FY18, compared with 8.84% in the whole year FY17.

Sources said that the bonds may be of four maturities – three-five-seven and 10 years.

“The company is trying to raise the whole money in just one issuance: It has managed to do so in the past,” one of the persons cited above told ET.

The base size of the issue could be kept at Rs 3,000 crore or 5,000 crore while the option to retain oversubscription may be fixed in the range of Rs 5,000-10,000 crore. A weaker-than-expected investor response may also prompt the company to do another series of issuance.

The company may hold a press conference this week itself to launch the issue formally.

There are about 10 investment bankers appointed to arrange the bond-sale. They include Axis Bank, Edelweiss Fin, Trust Capital, ICICI Bank, and SBI Cap.

Earlier in April, DHFL raised about Rs 1,000 crore by selling rupee-denominated bonds overseas. It offered 8.50% half yearly payments on five-year paper.

Nearly two years ago, DHFL had received record bids on the day the company opened the sale of its retail inflation-linked bonds that offered interest rates as high as 9.50%.

The company had collected close to Rs 19,000 crore, nearly five times the upper end of the issue size, something market players described as the maximum by a private issuer on the first day of a public bond sale.

Buoyed by the success of that issue, the top-rated company hit the market within the next few weeks to raise a record sum on a single day by selling bonds through a public issue. It mopped up Rs 10,000 crore against which it had received applications for Rs 12,645 crore.

DHFL reported a 66% surge in loans sanctioned for the year ended March 31, 2018 at Rs 65,936 crore.

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