2019 was a decent year for bond issues in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), but still behind the vintage year of 2017.
There was almost no activity in December 2019 with one bond issued in Central Europe: a $50mn bond that matures in 2024 with a coupon of 5.25% issued by Turkish bank Garanti.
Likewise in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) there was only one active player, the up-and-coming investment bank BCS Global Markets that issued a total of seven small bonds worth collectively $51mn. BCS GM has been funding its business all year with constant issues of small bonds each month, ranging from between $2mn to $15mn.
No one else issued international bonds in December, which is normal. In the last two years Central Europe saw zero bond issues in December, while in the CIS there were three issues in 2018 worth $600mn and two issues in 2017 worth $300mn.
All-in-all it was a decent year for bonds in Central Europe, with 64 issues worth a total of $44.5bn. That was up slightly on the 75 issues worth a total of $39bn issued in 2018, but down on the $49.8bn from 88 issues in 2017 – a vintage year for bond issuers.
The story was the same in the CIS which ended 2019 with 130 issues worth a total of $29.9bn, up from the $24.4bn from 54 issues in 2018, but down from the whopping $44.3bn from 92 issues in 2017. As usual Russia accounted for two thirds (68.3%) of all the CIS issues.
In Central Europe the issues were fairly evenly spread out over the year, with February, March, June, July and November being the most active months
In Eastern Europe the activity was more volatile with March seeing almost a quarter (22.6%) of the whole year’s issues when the Russian government tapped international markets with a $3bn Eurobond. However, June, September and October were also active months accounting for 15-17% of the whole year’s activity as Russia’s leading corporate followed the state into the market.