One of the most senior figures in the City, Nikhil Rathi, welcomed the launch of HDFC’s masala bond.
Rathi, who is of Indian origin but born in the UK, is the CEO of the London Stock Exchange and also director of international development at the London Stock Exchange Group.
“It’s a fun job,” he told Eastern Eye, adding, “I am very proud of my heritage, very proud I am in this position to support the investment into India through the City of London.”
Alongside him at the event was another senior Indian-origin figure, Ramesh Chhabra, head of media relations at the London Stock Exchange. Known to friends as “Mesh”, he was until last year a special adviser to former chancellor George Osborne.
The London Stock Exchange dates back to 1801 and has the motto, Dictum Meum Pactum, which is Latin for, “Our word is our bond”.
“It’s the most international exchange in the world, the home for international investors, international issuers and today is a landmark event for Indian finance,” Rathi said, speaking immediately after the launch. “And we are very proud that London has been chosen as the partner of choice for the first corporate masala bond anywhere in the world, with HDFC being the pioneer in that market.”
“I believe there is a unique combination here of the India-UK financial partnership, with the deepest global financial centre here in London, the fastest=growing economy in the G20 in India and through the exchange I am very proud that we are able to bring that together,” he went on.
Asked whether the launch would strengthen UK-India relations, Rathi responded: “Absolutely. Prime minister Modi, in November last year, announced London as a masala bond centre – and that is very important because it indicates trust in the regulatory environment in London and trust by investors in London to support sustainable infrastructure financing in India – one of the most exciting and fastest-growing economies in the world.”