Wednesday, June 10, 2009

They Don't Miss A Trick

Russia’s central bank may switch some of its reserves from U.S. Treasuries to International Monetary Fund bonds, the bank’s first deputy chairman, Alexei Ulyukayev, said in Moscow today. His comments were confirmed by a bank official who declined to be named, citing bank policy.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said last month that Russia planned to buy $10 billion of IMF bonds using money from its foreign reserves.


Russian Agricultural Bank, the state- owned lender to the farming industry, plans to sell dollar bonds in the first offering by a Russian lender to foreign investors this year.

The issue by Rosselkhozbank, as the Moscow-based lender is also known, follows OAO Gazprom’s $2.25 billion sale in April, Russia’s only other dollar bond deal of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Rosselkhozbank hasn’t set the maturity of its notes, according to a banker involved in the transaction, who declined to be identified before the deal is completed.

Rosselkhozbank hired Barclays Capital and Citigroup Inc. to organize the sale, said the banker. The lender is rated Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, the third-lowest investment-grade ranking, and one level lower at BBB by Fitch Ratings.

Vnesheconombank, the nation’s state development bank, is planning a $2 billion sale of one-year notes tomorrow that will be privately placed with Russian commercial lenders and the central bank.

The sale of 10-year notes by Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, was the country’s biggest-ever corporate bond offering and the first in dollars since July, Bloomberg data show.

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