3 Dec 2010 18:25

Russia delays ruble-bond placement due to poor markets

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) - Russia did not place ruble-denominated Eurobonds immediately following meetings with investors due to unfavorable markets, but might still place the bonds by the end of the year if those markets pick up, the a Finance Ministry official told Interfax.

"There was no deal immediately following the meetings with investors as the markets situation was negative," said Konstantin Vyshkovsky, head of the ministry's Public Debt Department.

"We'll carry the placement out if there's an improvement," Vyshkovsky said.

Equally, Russia may decide not to proceed with a placement this year if the general environment does not improve this year, he said.

"We never actually said there'd be a deal immediately following the meetings," he said, adding that the fact a deal did not take place "does not contradict what we said."

Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin has said the placement could be put back to 2011 if that would generate more revenue for the budget.

Market participants have said the worsening situation in the European debt markets might get in the way of the bond issue.

Pankin has said the volume of the issue might total 30 billion-80 billion rubles with maturities of three-ten years. The Finance Ministry is hoping to secure yields on a par with those for its domestic ruble bonds (OFZ). "Our strategy is not to give a premium against OFZ, to place inside the curve," Pankin has said.

Russia placed $5.5 billion in Eurobonds in April 2010: a five-year tranche totaling $2 billion at 3.741% and a 10-year tranche totaling $3.5 billion at 5.082%.