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NRNA seeks SEBON nod to issue NRN bond

2018-01-31

The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) has sought approval from the Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON) to issue the ‘NRN bond’ after the diaspora community decided to set up NRN Infrastructure Fund (NRNIF) of Rs 10 billion.

The diaspora community made commitment to set up an infrastructure fund worth Rs 10 billion to finance the infrastructure needs of the country in London last week during the visit of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Chiranjibi Nepal.

The promoters of the fund will inject the capital to set up the committed fund, according to Bhaban Bhatta, president of NRNA.

The diaspora community is willing to make huge investment in infrastructure sector to bridge the yawning gap of physical infrastructure. Thus, if SEBON allows the fund to issue bonds, NRNA will sell it among diaspora community members to collect the funds and invest it in the infrastructure sector.

Anal Raj Bhattarai, portfolio adviser of the NRN Infrastructure Fund, said that NRNIF is willing to work in the modality of Hydroelectric Investment and Development Company Ltd (HIDCL). The government entity formed to invest in hydropower development has been mobilising cheaper loans of development partners like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in hydropower sector. Apart from this, it has been making consortium financing under the leadership of various commercial banks in hydropower projects.

“We can bring in billions of rupees from the diaspora community by selling them bonds,” said Bhattarai, adding “We require a tool to transform the country’s infrastructure sector from the collective investment of the diaspora community.”

Bhatta, president of NRNA, said that the association’s delegates had visited SEBON seeking approval from the regulator to bring in investment.

SEBON has been drafting the Alternative Investment Regulation Funds Regulations to regulate such funds, equity investment and venture capital, according to high-ranking officials of SEBON.

Source: The Himalayan Times