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AAI mulls external commercial borrowing, masala bonds for raising funds

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 08 Aug 18 | 07:23 PM

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will explore options of external commercial borrowings and masala bonds to fund its capital expenditure requirements, a senior official said.

The AAI — also the nodal agency for the ambitious regional air connectivity scheme — is targeting Rs 41 billion (Rs 4,100 crore) worth capital expenditure on airport infrastructure development in 2018-19.

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In March this year, the national airport operator's board approved a proposal for borrowing up to Rs 15 billion (Rs 1,500 crore) from the market in the form of "Line of Credit/ Rupee Term Loan".

AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said the capital expenditure is proposed to be funded through borrowings and internal resources in 60:40 ratio.

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In an interview to PTI, he said the Request for Proposal (RFP) for borrowing up to Rs 15 billion (Rs 1,500 crore) has been floated and financial bids have been opened.

"Approval of the Ministry of Civil Aviation in this regard is awaited. Other modes of financing like External Commercial Borrowing (ECB), masala bonds etc would also be explored linking with the requirement," he said in an e-mailed response.

Masala bonds are rupee-denominated overseas bonds.

The AAI manages more than 129 airports. Flight operations have started from 30 airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), Mohapatra said.

The scheme, also known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports in different parts of the country.

So far this year, as many as 7 unserved airports and equal number of under-served aerodromes have become operational.

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