India will auction $7.15 billion worth of unused government debt quotas to foreign investors on June 20, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the plans.
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or SEBI, had announced on its website last week that it would auction unused debt limits on June 20, but it did not disclose the exact amount.
This will be the country’s first auction since raising investment limits for foreign investors in government debt by $5 billion to $30 billion.
The regulator in a release on June 12 said that the Government of India has enhanced the Government Debt Limits by $5 billion and, this along with an unutilized limit of $6.2 billion as on May 31, will be made immediately available for investment on tap by foreign institutional investors, or FIIs, which are registered with SEBI under the categories of sovereign wealth funds, multilateral agencies, endowment funds, insurance funds, pension funds and foreign central banks.
According to the release, “the amount not utilized as on June 18, 2013 (out of the presently unutilized limit of $6.2 billion) will be put on auction on June 20, 2013. Similar exercise shall continue every month.”
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Debt quotas set by the Indian government allow foreign investors to invest in debt up to the limit bought, according to Reuters.
However, the Indian rupee’s slump to record lows last week had triggered a sell-off of government debt by foreign investors. FIIs reportedly sold government debt worth 4.7 billion rupees ($80.1 million) over 18 consecutive sessions until last Friday, thus eroding returns, Reuters reported.
A SEBI panel last week also recommended further easing registration requirements for foreign investors across all markets in India.