Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan have been hired by Bulgaria's government to jointly arrange an EUR 1.5bn Eurobond issue and are set to hold a series of investor meetings in Europe starting on June 23, national radio broadcaster BNR reported, citing an unnamed finance ministry official. The bonds will be issued through the Luxemburg Stock Exchange.
The proceeds from the potential Eurobond, which was approved by the parliament on June 6, will be used to finance this year's planned budget deficit of BGN 1.5bn (EUR 767mn) and also to retire some USD 1.1bn worth of USD-denominated global bonds that expire in January 2015.
Emerging market bond yields have been on a downward trend recently thanks to increased investor appetite, but the yield on Bulgaria's Eurobond is likely to be boosted by last week's S&P downgrade of the country's sovereign credit rating by one notch to BBB-, just one notch above junk.
Bulgaria plans to borrow a total of BGN 4.4bn this year, which should push the debt-to-GDP ratio to 22.1% at end-2014 from 18.5% at end-2013.
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