NTPC sets guidance for new international bond

India's NTPC wraps up roadshows for new $300 million 10-year deal.
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is expected to price its second international capital markets deal later this week with a proposed $300 million 10-year deal.

Under the lead management of BarclayÆs Capital and Deutsche Bank, the Ba2/BB/BB+ (Fitch) rated group has set price guidance at 145bp -155bp over 10-year Treasuries.

RoadshowÆs kicked off in Dubai on February 18, before moving to Singapore and Hong Kong earlier this week. RoadshowÆs will wrap up today (February 22) in London, with pricing expected either Thursday or Friday. The order books is said to currently be about two-times oversubscribed.

NTPC first tapped the debt markets in January 2004 with a $200 million seven-year deal. That transaction priced at 99.37% on a coupon of 5.5% to yield 5.61%.

At launch, this equated to a Treasury spread of 203bp and Libor spread of 159bp. The deal is currently trading around 118bp over Treasuries or 68bp over Libor.

NTPC's forthcoming deal will be issued off a newly established $1 billion MTN programme, and will be used to expand the capacity of its operations.

Bankers say investor appetite for offshore Indian debt has increased markedly since NTPC last went to the international market. At the time, the offering was felt to have suffered from the poor secondary market trading performance of an IDBI bond before it.

This time, observers expect strong demand as investors take advantage of India's ongoing economic reform programme and a recent dearth of Indian offerings.

Additionally, NTPC has rather substantial funding requirements and with such a large MTN program at its disposal will likely look to become a regular issuer in the offshore debt markets.