25 Aug 2009 12:17

Eurasian Development Bank could offer $500 mln in Eurobonds in fall

ALMATY. Aug 25 (Interfax) - The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is planning to offer $500 million in Eurobonds in September-October, a senior bank official told reporters in Almaty.

"We're looking to place in September, or October at the latest, and for now we're talking about $500 million," said Yevgeny Vinokurov, head of economic analysis and consulting at the bank.

He said "due diligence for the Eurobonds was performed last week."

"It's not as if the international market has thrown its doors wide open for first-rate borrowers, but a small window is now open. Nearly all first-class Russian borrowers, including Gazprom and Lukoil , have placed in the last two or three months, and the EBD ranks among such borrowers," Vinokurov said.

The bank has a high rating, conservative liquidity management, well structured projects portfolio and sufficiently high level of risk management, he said.

The EDB delayed a planned debut $300 million Eurobond placement indefinitely last year due to the financial markets uncertainty.

The EDB said last week that it was preparing four bond issues each worth 5 billion rubles and each maturing in seven years. This will be the bank's first placement on the Russian market.

In April and July of this year, the bank placed two bond tranches on the Kazakh debt market, which were denominated in tenge coming to a total of 20 billion tenge (around $133 million). The funds raised from the placement will be invested in infrastructure projects for the Kazakh economy.

Russia and Kazakhstan established the EDB in 2006 with the purpose of facilitating the robust development of the two countries' economies, sustaining high rates of economic growth, expanding mutual trade, developing other forms of economic relations, and encouraging direct investment, including on the basis of private-public partnership.

Russia's contribution to the bank's equity was $1 billion, and Kazakhstan paid in $500 million. In December 2008, the EDB accepted Tajikistan, Belarus and Armenia as members. At the start of April 2009, Armenia made an equity contribution of $100,000 to the bank. At the end of June 2009, the bank announced that Tajikistan had completed all the necessary measures for entry into the EDB and invested $500,000 in the bank.