India Hasn’t Done Much Work on Overseas Bond, Sitharaman Says
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, gestures as she speaks during a news conference in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

India Hasn’t Done Much Work on Overseas Bond, Sitharaman Says

(Bloomberg) -- India’s plan to sell its debut sovereign bonds overseas is at a nascent stage, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, signaling the government is in no hurry to raise foreign currency debt.

“On sovereign bonds nothing more has been done by the ministry. We have announced it and that’s where it is,” Sitharaman told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “I’m not speculating on the numbers, how many tranches or when am I starting.”

Sitharaman announced the bond sale in her maiden budget last month, and the plan drew criticism from a key group linked to the ruling party and former central bank governors. Since then, conflicting details about the issue and its size, and an abrupt transfer of a bureaurcrat overseeing the sale has left the markets confused.

The government had earlier said it was planning to raise as much as $10 billion this year to take advantage of lower interest rates. The offshore sale was meant to shift part of a record 7.1 trillion rupees of planned federal borrowings abroad. Officials later said the issue size wouldn’t be huge.

“I know some numbers were floating around because you heard earlier secretary mention this is the quantum,” Sitharaman said. “There’s not much work after the mention because we all have been busy with so many other things in the ministry.”

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