19 Apr 2010 17:46

Belarus could place Eurobonds on Russian market

MINSK. April 19 (Interfax) - Belarus' Finance Minister Andrei Kharkovets said that the placement of the country's debut Eurobonds issue could be held on the Russian market and not in Europe.

"We will go where the terms [for Eurobonds placement on the foreign market] will be more attractive," Kharkovets told journalists commenting on the MinFin's position on selecting a market and instrument for raising external financial resources in 2010.

The minister also said, "We are technically ready to enter the market in the very near future. Everything else hinges on market conditions."

In this regard "all issues regarding tax payment in Russia have been solved and as of today normal conditions have been developed for entry onto the Russian market," Kharkovets said.

Kharkovets said in March that tax issues have hampered the placement of Russian bonds since the bonds were viewed by Russian regulators in the same league as corporate bonds. "It is in our interest that they [the Belarusian Eurobonds] be equivalent to Russian state bonds," the minister said, adding the difference in the bonds value in this situation comes to 5%.

"Deciding these issues, we will likely enter the Russian borrowing market," Kharkovets said in mid-March saying that the placement could take place in the first half of 2010.

It was earlier reported that the Belarusian MinFin plans to place $500 million in debut Eurobonds.

Kharkovets said that Belarus currently has no substantial demand for a new stand-by program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"There is no apparent demand now for a new program. The program, which is coming to an end, has done its part. The situation to date is much more stable. The parameters that we expect are being met. Early economic growth is being posted," he said.