Russia is planning to sell about $7 billion (Dh25.7 billion) of bonds, the most by any emerging-market government for at least three years, as soaring oil prices boost confidence in the world's biggest energy exporter.
Russia's sale of notes will include debt due in 2042, adding to what has already been the busiest first quarter for long-dated bonds since 2006. Indonesia, Peru and Mexico have raised $4.25 billion this year from debt maturing in 30 years or longer as yields hit record lows, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A total $3.1 billion was raised from such long-maturity bonds in the first quarter of last year.
The last time Russia issued 30-year notes was in August 2000, two years after its $40 billion domestic debt default. Since then the economy has rebounded, driven by a rally in oil prices from $11 in 1998 to an average of $103.60 this year. The government had its first budget surplus in three years in 2011, when the economy grew a faster-than-forecast 4.3 per cent.
"Equity markets are flying, risk assets generally are bid and here you've got a rare chance to buy one of the premium sovereign names at spreads that are significantly wider than Latin America," James Croft, head of emerging-market fixed-income trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities in London, said yesterday. This ticks all the boxes — investment-grade oil exposure with a decent spread."
The sovereign sale is set to be the biggest among emerging markets since Qatar sold $7 billion of bonds in November 2009.
Russia was expected to issue $3 billion of 30-year debt yesterday to yield between 250 and 255 basis points more than similar maturity US treasuries, according to guidance from a banker with knowledge of the deal.
Yields on 30-year US Treasuries at 3.299 per cent as of 10.33am in Moscow today would put Russia's rate at 5.799 per cent to 5.849 per cent.