Cash-strapped Belarus to start Eurobond roadshow

By bne IntelliNews June 15, 2017

Cash-strapped Belarus has mandated Citigroup and Raiffeisen Bank International for fixed income investor meetings in the US and Europe commencing June 19, Reuters reported on June 14.

One team representing the issuer will visit London, Zurich and Frankfurt, and a second team will meet investors in Los Angeles, New York and Boston. The roadshow finishes on June 21. A dual-tranche 144A/Reg S senior unsecured US dollar offering comprise long five-year and ten-year maturities is expected to follow.

Belarus has not issued new Eurobonds since 2010-2011, when the former Soviet republic raised a total of $1.8bn.

In late 2016, the country's Prime Minister Andrei Kobiakov said that Belarus considers $800mn issue of Eurobonds as "the most suitable size".

"Of course, we are interested in long-term borrowing. It would be good if its term were seven years," he told Reuters.

Minsk also intends to refinance the country's debt with the new funding from Russia, negotiating a new $700mn loan with Moscow. Belarus also relies on further tranches of a $2bn stand-by loan agreed with the Russia-led Eurasian Fund for Stabilisation and Development (EFSD) in 2016. In April, Belarus received a new $300mn tranche from the EFSD. Earlier, the Fund suspended allocation of new tranches to Belarus after dispensing two totalling $800mn.

Minsk is also trying to negotiate a new $3bn support package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the efforts are being obstructed by the Belarusian leadership's rejection of liberal economic reforms necessary for securing a loan agreement.

In late April, Fitch Ratings said the resumption of payments from the EFSD and the settlement of the energy dispute between Minsk and Moscow will reduce but not completely eliminate uncertainty over the ability of Belarus to fulfil its 2017 financing plan. The plan envisages an increase in non-debt foreign currency revenues to $1.8bn in 2017 from $1.2bn last year, and EFSD disbursements worth $1bn, according to the rating agency.

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