EDC Provides USD 500 M Financing to India's Reliance Industries
As Business with Canadian Companies Grows
By A Correspondent
Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s leading financier and insurer of Canadian exporting companies, announced USD 500 M in financing for Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the Indian multi-sector conglomerate.
The transaction is among the largest financing packages that EDC has ever extended in Asia. RIL is a Fortune Global 500 company and is the largest private-sector company in India.
“We have been partnering with a wide section of Canadian suppliers for materials, equipment and services across our hydrocarbon businesses over the last 4-5 years and we are also engaging with them for our telecom business rollout,” said Srikanth Venkatachari, Reliance’s Joint Chief Financial Officer. “We have more than a decade-long relationship with EDC, and this landmark deal will provide further impetus to foster trade between RIL and Canadian companies over the coming years.”
EDC provided the financing in response to the increasing business that RIL has been undertaking with Canadian companies since 2004, when EDC first became one of their financiers. The new financing package helps diversify RIL's funding sources and extends the maturity profile of its long- term debt in a cost effective manner.
“RIL is a global leader in many sectors that match up well with Canadian industrial expertise, creating a natural partnership that benefits both of our priority interests,” said Rajesh Sharma, EDC’s Senior Vice-President and Group Head, Global Business Development.
“A strong relationship with EDC helps the RIL Group benefit from a global source of mature and dependable financing in a capital-constrained global economy,” added Mr. Sharma. “In turn, EDC introduces Canadian companies to RIL that not only meet their specific supply chain needs, but that can help them grow their global business. Everybody wins in this deal.”
Since 2010, RIL has been regularly doing business with approximately 50 Canadian companies. Of these companies, 33% were small- to medium-sized companies. EDC has been actively engaged with RIL for making introductions to Canadian capabilities.
Industries of note for RIL are oil and gas exploration/production, refining and petrochemicals that are part of its energy business. The telecom and organized retail sectors are part of their consumer facing business in India.
India is a strategic market for Canada, as outlined in the Government’s Global Market Action Plan, and is also a market of corporate priority for EDC. EDC is looking to grow the amount of financing that it offers to Indian companies for their capital expenditures, whether the financing be for general corporate purposes or project finance purposes.
Canadian and Indian companies used EDC’s financial services to undertake CAD 1.8 billion of business in 2013 alone.
EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private- and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.