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22 Mar, 2019 13:01

Just business: British & US investors gobble up Russian government bonds

Just business: British & US investors gobble up Russian government bonds

Most Russian state-issued bonds were purchased by investors from Britain, the US and the European Union, according to Andrey Solovyev, global head of debt and capital markets at VTB Capital which ran the placement.

Russia’s Finance Ministry raised €750 million in a top-up issue of an existing euro-denominated Eurobond and $3 billion in a new dollar-denominated Eurobond.

Dollar-denominated obligations are set to be paid off in 2035 with a yield of 5.1 percent, while a yield for euro-denominated papers were set at 2.375 percent with final maturity in 7 years.

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“British investors purchased 40 percent of the euro-denominated bonds, while European financiers bought 18 percent. Businessmen from the US accounted for 17 percent of the issuance,” Solovyev said, adding that 18 percent were purchased by Russians.

The economist noted that the share of Swiss investors totaled five percent, while two percent of the issuance were bought by financiers from Asia and other countries.

Britain also became the major buyer of dollar-denominated bonds, accounting for 55 percent of the issuance.

“American investors purchased 21 percent with 11 percent were bought by Russian financiers, while the share of Europe amounted to eight percent,” he said, stressing that four percent of the issuance were bought by Asian businessmen and one percent by Switzerland.

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According to Solovyev, the latest bond placement was the biggest in nearly five years.

In November Russia raised a billion euros ($1.14 billion) via the first sale of euro-denominated Eurobonds in five years, paying a yield of 3.0 percent.

The latest issuance came months after US-based rating agency Moody’s upgraded Russia’s sovereign rating.

Russia opted to tap the Eurobond market amid a “burgeoning appetite for riskier assets which eclipses the continued threat of US sanctions,” according analysts at Alfa Bank, as quoted by Reuters.

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