Kazakhstan looks to be gearing up to issue its first Eurobond in over a decade, with market sources claiming it has hired three international banks to organize the sale.
According to the unnamed sources, Astana has now hired Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan to lead the issue, Reuters reports. None of the three banks have commented on the report.
Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev confirmed in May that Astana is planning to raise up to $1bn with a sovereign Eurobond issue. "We are going to the external markets not for money but for credit, for loans, for benchmarks and in order to make ourselves present in this market," Zhamishev told the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD) annual meeting in Istanbul.
The Kazakh government was last in the Eurobond market in 2000, when the country sold $350m worth of bonds. That issue was redeemed in 2007. However, despite the slowdown in global appetite in recent weeks due to concern over an end to quantative easing by the US Fed and other central banks, Kazakhstan is now moving to take belated advantage of the emerging market bond rally.
State oil and gas company KazMunaiGas (KMG) raised $3bn through a two-part bond issue in April, with the company announcing that the offer was hugely over-subscribed. State agricultural holding company KazAgro also successfully issued $1bn worth of Eurobonds this year.
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