Day 4: Awards for Achievement 2006

Today we announce our Borrower of the Year.
Best Borrower
Reliance Industries

Reliance Industries has had a banner year this year and all but ran away with our award for AsiaÆs best borrower. Already taking home the award for best project financing with its US$1.5 billion green-field refinery financing (Reliance Petroleum), we were glad to add another feather to its cap.

Reliance has been one the most frequent of borrowers in the international market this year, with deals ranging from the aforementioned project financing to its $150 million equivalent euroyen deal, the first 10-year deal from Asia launched and priced since the Asian crisis for both financial and corporate issuers.

Indeed, building off of a pragmatic borrowing performance in 2005, where Reliance refinanced close to $750 million, by launching an aggressive programme that sought to not only reduce its cost of debt, but also to extend the maturity profile of its loans, extending respective maturities by more than two years.

In 2006, Reliance closed two landmark transactions, the euroyen trade, which despite tremendous market volatility during the pricing week, managed to obtain a level of 90bps over Libor, the tighter end of the price guidance. It was the first Asian corporate to launch a euroyen with a 10 maturity.

It also priced a $300 million private placement in September, the first Indian entity to enter into the burgeoning Asian private placement market. Indeed, that deal enjoyed such significant demand that it was upsized by 50% and saw Reliance achieve its lowest fixed rate coupon ever.

Far from being finished, in October, Reliance capped its year off with the hugely successful $1.5 billion syndicated loan project financing. That deal was in such high demand that Reliance was able to re-tap the deal for an additional $500 million, bringing the total to $2 billion, which represented a number of first in IndiaÆs loan market.

It was the largest foreign currency loan raised in India, the largest limited recourse financing in Asia (excluding China) since the Asian financial crisis and the first international project finance transaction in India since the Enron-sponsored Dabhol Power Company.

Additionally, it was the most widely syndicated loan ever in India with 52 participant banks. Of which 20-25 of them were brand new to the Reliance credit.

Reliance ends the year, having never put a step wrong, while achieving all of its pricing and financing ambitions. Blending adaptability and outright market acumen, Reliance built a stable of well priced and well structured deals, and truly deserves the title of AsiaÆs best borrower.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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