11 Aug 2009 10:42

Sistema to start placing 20 bln rubles in second series bonds Aug 18, guidance 14.95%

MOSCOW. Aug 11 (Interfax) - The Sistema holding plans to start placing 20 billion rubles in second series bonds on August 18, the company said in a statement.

"The company is prepared to borrow at not more than 14.95% pa," a well informed source in banking circles told Interfax.

The placement of series two bonds is aimed at further optimization of Sistema's debt portfolio structure in order to increase the share of ruble-denominated financial instruments and to extend its maturity, Sistema said.

"We have largely resolved Sistema's debt financing needs for 2009. This bond placement is not tied to the refinancing of our short and medium term debt obligations. In line with our corporate debt management strategy we intend to issue ruble-denominated bonds in order to optimize the Group's debt portfolio structure and expect to benefit from favorable market conditions which currently exist for financial instruments issued in rubles," said Alexey Buyanov, Senior Vice President and Head of Sistema's Finance and Investment Group.

The bonds will have a five-year maturity and will be callable in three years following the sixth coupon payment. The Board of Directors has canceled its previous decision which was made in February 2009 to call the bonds in one year following the second coupon payment. The bonds will be placed on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX).

Furthermore, the placement of 19 billion rubles in third series bonds with a seven year maturity is planned in the fourth quarter of 2009 or thereafter, Sistema said.

The Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) registered the second series bond issue on February 3.

The underwriter is Renaissance Broker, and Sistema Finance Investments is guaranteeing the bonds.

Sistema last week decided in favor of placing the 19 billion rubles in third-series bonds.

Sistema has a first series of 6 billion rubles in bonds, maturing in March 2013, outstanding.

Consolidated debt was $9.4 billion as at the end of Q1 2009, and ruble borrowing accounted for 31% of this.