15 Mar 2019 15:01

More than half demand at record bond auctions came from foreign investors - Siluanov

MOSCOW. March 15 (Interfax) - More than half of the demand at the Finance Ministry's federal loan bond (OFZ) auctions in March 13 came from foreign investors, First Deputy Russian Prime Minister Anton Siluanov, who is also the country's finance minister, told reporters.

A record 91.434 billion rubles in bonds was sold at the auctions.

"More than half the demand was from foreign investors," Siluanov said. He said the Finance Ministry did not know which countries the investors came from, but there was no basis for press reports that investors from Venezuela bought Russian debt.

"What's lighting up the press about some kind of Venezuelan trail is speculation. Nobody from Venezuela has ever come to us," he said.

Siluanov said the success of recent bond auctions was down to changes in the way bids are satisfied: a new flexible mechanism makes it possible to take advantage of a favorable market situation and grant more bids.

"There was enormous, unprecedented demand of more than 140 billion rubles [at Wednesday's auctions], and tellingly, we sold a record volume at market prices practically without any premium," he said.