The EBRD has completed the placement of its third rouble bond,underwritten by a syndicate of nine international and Russian banks. Therate on the first coupon has been set at 4.30 percent.
The launch of this latest bond, raising 7.5 billion roubles for EBRDprojects in Russia, will allow operators to track the pricing of theBank’s paper on a monthly basis. This will provide a benchmark instrument for the floating rate market and give added transparency to the movements of the MosPrime rate, to which the Bank’s September 2006 bond is linked, like its two predecessors.
The EBRD launched an initial 5-billion rouble bond in May 2005 andfollowed it up last April with a second 5-billion rouble issue. Allthree issues have a five-year maturity and pay quarterly coupons. Theirlaunch has been timed in such a way that a coupon on one of the EBRD’s three bonds will now fall due every month. The coupon rate on the bonds is reset every three months in line with the then prevailing MosPrime offered rates.
ZAO Citibank, International Moscow Bank and ZAO Raiffeisenbank Austriaare the Joint Lead Arrangers of the new issue– with ZAO Commerzbank (Eurasija), ING Bank (Eurasia) ZAO, Bank WestLB Vostok (ZAO) acting as senior co-lead managers and ZAO ABN Amro Bank, ZAO Bank Credit Suisse (Moscow) and Gazprombank ZAO are co-lead managers. ING will also act as the Calculation Agent for the issue.
Strong demand from Russian clients for local currency loans to finance agrowing portfolio of projects provided the incentive for the Bank toreturn to the market and increase the size of its planned bond. WhenEBRD first tapped the Russian bond market, it had signed seven Roubleloans totalling RUB 3.8 billion. Less than 18 months later, the EBRD has22 such loans totalling RUB 30.1 billion, of which RUB 8 billion hasbeen syndicated to the market.
The launch once again underscores the rapidly growing acceptance of theMosPrime Rate as a reliable money market benchmark in Russia since itslaunch in April 2005.
A growing number of public transactions have been linked to this indexin the past year, the most recent being a 6.3 billion rouble (equivalentto€185 million) long-term EBRD loan for HydroOGK, which saw maturities extended to 10 years for the first time on the market for Russian syndicated loans. The syndication of 4 billion roubles of the transaction to nine banks, further underlines the growing credibility ofthe index.
The MosPrime rate is calculated daily for 1-months, 2-months and3-months deposits based on the quotes contributed by eight banks: ABNAmro, ZAO Citibank, Gazprombank, International Moscow Bank,Raiffeisenbank, Sberbank, Vneshtorgbank and WestLB. This new moneymarket index was launched last year under the auspices of Russia’s National Currency Association (NCA).
The decision to Issue the new bond was registered with the FederalFinancial Markets Service (FFMS) on September 7, 2006. Just as withprevious issues, the EBRD will apply for its bonds to be listed andtraded on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) and for theCentral Bank to include them in its Lombard list. This would qualify thebond for use in repo transactions with the Central Bank.
The coupon rate for the bond will be published at Reuters pageEBRDRUBFRNRATE.
The EBRD enjoys an AAA/Aaa/AAA rating from international rating agenciesand is the first international financial institution to have tapped therouble bond market.
The EBRD, owned by 60 governments and two intergovernmentalinstitutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned tomarket economies in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth ofIndependent States.Visit the EBRD’s website: www.ebrd.com