10 Mar 2010 14:48

Belarus taps Sberbank of Russia for leading organizer for debut eurobonds

MINSK. March 10 (Interfax) - The Belarusian authorities have de facto chosen Sberbank of Russia to be the leading organizer for the country's debut eurobond issue, of not less than $500 million for five years, a source from financial circles told Interfax.

Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and BNP Paribas have been selected for co-organizers, he said.

The Finance Ministry will issue the organizers the appropriate mandates, legally formalizing agreements reached, at the end of the week, the source said.

The eurobond placement is virtually fully structured, he said. The organizers have announced readiness to buy $300 million worth of the Belarusian eurobonds, over half the anticipated issue.

At the start of February, the Finance Ministry confirmed plans announced in December by Minister Andrei Kharkovets that Belarus would issue its debut Eurobonds in 2010. He then said that believe it would be feasible for Belarus to place $500 million in Eurobonds no earlier than the second quarter of 2010. He added that ministry had been in negotiations for organizing the issue with several financial institutions such as Sberbank, BNP Paribas, RBS and Nomura.

In December, the Belarusian government inked with Sberbank a mutual plan of steps to raise foreign resources that included the organization of syndicated credits and placing eurobonds.

Prior to the economic crisis, Belarus had plans to place debut three- year Eurobonds in Japanese yen to the equivalent of $260 million. Japan's Nomura Bank had been selected as the issue's organizer.

According to the Finance Ministry, Belarus' s