RBI announces a slew of measures for bond market development

RBI has announced a host of measures to boost investor participation and market liquidity in the corporate bond market. It has allowed commercial banks to issue rupee-denominated bonds (masala bonds) in overseas markets, for meeting their capital requirement and for financing infrastructure and affordable housing. These will constitute additional Tier I and Tier II capital for lenders. RBI has also decided to expand the limit of partial credit enhancement provided by banks from the present level of 20 per cent to 50 per cent of the bond issue size. RBI has also decided to seek suitable legal amendments to enable it to accept corporate bonds under the liquidity adjustment facility. In addition, foreign portfolio investors have been allowed to transact in corporate bonds directly, without involving brokers.

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