Bulgaria picks four banks to lead manage €2bn Eurobond issues

By bne IntelliNews February 19, 2016

The Bulgarian ministry of finance has selected JP Morgan, Citibank, Unicredit and BNP Paribas as the lead managers for €2bn Eurobond issues planned for March, Capital Daily reported. The ministry invited 21 institutions to submit offers to manage the sale.

In March 2015, Bulgaria raised €3.1bn through three euro-denominated Eurobond issues, its largest debt sale ever. The Balkan country sold €1.25bn of 7-year bonds at a yield of 2.179%, €1bn of a 12-year tranche at 2.732%, and €850mn of 20-year bonds at 3.264%. Citigroup, HSBC, Societe Generale, and Unicredit Bank managed the bond sales. The three tranches were priced at the tight end of the price guidance, and combined demand was reported at €5.5bn.

In November, Bulgaria reopened the 20-year Eurobond issue, raising €50mn at a yield of 3.987%, well above the 3.264% achieved in March, when the issue was first launched.

Meanwhile, next month the maturities of the tranches will be 10 years and/or more. Through the Eurobonds the ministry will reach the full-year ceiling for new external debt issues of BGN3.9bn (€2bn). The total new debt amount for this year is limited to BGN5.3bn, to be used for financing the budget deficit, repaying maturing debt and, if necessary, supporting recovery and restructuring programmes in the banking sector.

Bulgaria’s government debt totalled €11.61bn at end-December, equal to 26.4% of the estimated 2015 GDP. External government debt stood at €7.89bn. The country is rated Baa2 by Moody’s, BB+ by S&P and BBB- by Fitch.

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