A $1.75 Billion Game of Russian Roulette?

Russian Eurobonds Might Offer a Sound Investment

Russian Eurobonds- a Sound Investment?

The last time Russia issued the popular ten-year sovereign debt eurobonds was in 2013—before its 2014 invasion of the Ukraine and annexation of the Crimea with its concomitant Western financial sanctions. But on May 23, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov surprised the investment world by announcing the offering of such bonds in order to raise $3 billion to finance Russia’s growing budget deficit. So great was the demand for the bonds that the ministry decided to extend the offering to May 24, when, according to ministry sources, demand hit $7 billion. When the dust settled, Russia had sold $1.75 billion in ten-year, dollar-denominated eurobonds pegged at about 4.75 percent. However, critics point to the rejection of the offering by twenty-five foreign banks as a possible sign of mistrust in the issuer and a level of unacceptable risk.

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