24 Dec 2009 12:51

VEB delays $2-bln bond placement

MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) - Vnesheconombank (VEB) has decided to delay the placement of a second tranche of $2 billion in bonds, scheduled to begin on December 25, indefinitely, the bank said in a statement.

The bank's press office told Interfax that the placement was postponed because the bank's requirement for additional financial resources had altered.

The bank said in the statement that it would reschedule the offering in due course.

The bonds will mature on one year. The issue will consist of 2 million bonds, par value $1,000 each.

They will be placed in a private subscription, potential buyers being lending organizations set up in accordance with Russian law and licensed by the Central Bank to perform banking operations with foreign currency; and the Central Bank itself.

The Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) registered five VEB forex bond issues worth $2 billion each in May this year.

VEB placed the first issue on June 3, receiving ten bids from a syndicate that included Sberbank , Rosbank, Russian Standard Bank , Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank , Citibank and Raiffeisenbank.

The coupon rate on the bonds is LIBOR+1% pa.

Market participants describe the VEB bonds as an alternative to the CB's zero-interest forex deposits, on which banks had to hold forex assets before the new instrument came out.