3 Feb 2010 16:47

Russian MinFin not planning to lengthen domestic debt maturities

MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) - The Russian Finance Ministry has no short-term plans to extend the term of ruble-denominated government bonds and will be offering bonds maturing in two or three years to the market, Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin said at the Russia 2010 forum.

That sort of maturity is convenient for the budget and goes down well with the market, Pankin said.

Pankin added that total domestic ruble borrowing would increase in comparison with 2009. "The task is not to cause an increase in interest rates or push out private borrowers but to approach the market competently and delicately," he said.

Pankin added that the market is expecting long-term issues. He said that, over the past year, the MinFin had attempted to reduce issued securities. "It was correct to enter a declining market with more short-term issues," he stressed.

"The issue concerns when we will reach the bottom with decreases in interest rates and when it would be practical for the issuer to put out long-term securities," he said.

He added that according to the MinFin's estimate, the market will nonetheless continue to display a reduction in interest rates. In the near future, the ministry has no plans to increase its borrowing sharply, "We will enter [the market] with two to three year securities," Pankin said.