Sebi to auction bonds worth $11.3 bn for FIIs this mth

Market regulator Sebi will auction bonds worth USD 11.3 billion this month, following the hike in investment caps for FIIs in corporate and government debt markets by USD 5 billion each.

The auction for allocation of available debt limits after the increase in investment ceilings will be conducted for Foreign Institutional Investors on February 20 through an electronic bidding process.

The move follows a decision by the Reserve Bank of India to enhance the limit for investment by FIIs in the long-term government debt securities by USD 5 billion to USD 15 billion and in the corporate non-infrastructure debt category to USD 5 billion.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a circular that the 3-year lock-in period for the first time investments by FIIs in government securities has also been done away with.

Pursuant to the increase in investment caps, Sebi said auction will be conducted for these additional limits along with the already available limits on February 20.

The incremental limit of USD 5 billion (about Rs 27,000 crore) in the long-term government debt category will be auctioned along with the unutilised debt limits in this category as on January 31, 2013 (Rs 7034 crore), on February 20, 2013, taking the total available auction size to Rs 33,959 crore (over USD 6 billion).

Besides, the incremental limit of USD five billion in the non-infrastructure corporate bond segment would be auctioned as a separate category on February 20, 2013, Sebi said.

Collectively, investment limits worth about Rs 61,000 crore (USD 11.3 billion) would be auctioned on that day.

The FIIs need to bid for investment limits in an auction conducted periodically by Sebi as per the available limits, pursuant to which they can invest in the bond market.

Sebi said that the time period for utilisation of the government debt limits allocated through bidding process would be 30 days, while the time period for utilisation of the corporate debt limits would be 60 days.

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