Kolkata: The UKEF, one of the world's oldest export finance agencies, has designated India as its priority country and is ready to extend its assistance in rupee term, an official said.

The UK Export Finance (UKEF) has a credit limit of £4 billion for India which Indian companies can avail for their overseas projects but they should have 20% of the components sourced from the UK, he said.

Rahul Tabhane, Country Head India, UKEF, said that the export finance agency is close to finalising a transaction with an Indian bank for the first time.

"The UKEF is exploring financing opportunities in India and also ready to provide export finance in Indian rupees," he said.

Speaking at a webinar organised by FICCI and the UK government, Tabhane said the credit agency had been operating in India for the last one-and-half years.

Many companies such as Reliance Industries, Indigo and Jet Airways had availed of its assistance, he said.

According to him, the companies, which are willing to avail of export finance assistance from the agency, will be benefited from reduced credit cost as the sovereign rating of the UK is 'AA stable', unlike 'BBB minus' of India.

He said the UKEF assistance is sector agnostic, but areas like renewable energy attract a long repayment period.

FICCI's West Bengal State Council chairman Rudra Chatterjee said that raising capital has become a challenge for Indian corporates in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"It has become imperative to access other funding avenues," he added.