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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gazprom May Sell Russia’s 1st Dollar Bond for 9 Months Tomorrow

April 16, 2009 - (Bloomberg by Denis Maternovsky) - OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, may complete its planned sale of as much as $2 billion as soon as tomorrow, according to a banker involved in the deal. The 10-year issue with the option for investors to redeem the notes after three years would be the first by a Russian company in dollars since July and may pave the way for other borrowers to sell foreign debt. Gazprom, Russia’s largest corporate, was already the first company to issue foreign- currency bonds this year with its 500 million Swiss-franc ($436 million) sale of 9 percent two-year notes earlier in April. “The results of this sale will be indicative of investor appetite for new deals out of Russia,” said Mikhail Galkin, a fixed-income analyst at MDM Bank in Moscow. “If the Gazprom deal is successful, other investment-grade banks and companies will likely soon follow.” Gazprom’s dollar bonds may pay a coupon of between 9.25 and 9.5 percent, said the banker, who declined to be identified because the deal isn’t completed. Credit Suisse Group AG is managing the issue and has held investor presentations in the U.S. and Europe this week. The last Russian company to sell dollar-denominated debt was state-run pipeline operator OAO Transneft, which issued $1.65 billion of five- and 10-year bonds on July 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gazprom last sold dollar debt on July 22, when it raised $500 million through 7.51 percent securities due 2013, Bloomberg data show.

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