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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Russian Gazprom placing15 bln rouble bonds--sources

June 3, 2009 (Reuters by Yelena Fabrichnaya) - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) is selling 15 billion roubles ($488 million) of bonds, banking sources said on Wednesday, spurred by gains in the Russian currency and hopes for further rate cuts by the central bank. Gazprom, the biggest borrower in Russia, is placing 10 billion roubles and 5 billion roubles of bonds with one-year and two-year put options respectively, hoping to close books in the middle of June, a source at a major Russian bank said. The coupon rate for the bonds is seen at around 13 percent for the shorter paper and 14 percent for the longer, a banker with a Western bank said. The price guidance is a "little bit different from those figures", a source close to the bookrunners said. The rouble hit its strongest levels since January as prices for Russia's key export, crude oil, LCOc1 climbed to a seven-month high around $68 a barrel and investors returned to Moscow's bourses. "We (are looking) into the possibility of placing bonds in June. The company is yet to decide," a banker at one of the bookrunners said, on a condition of anonymity. "The book is not open yet." Gazprom picked Gazprombank and Citi to run the deal. "Gazprom decided to take advantage of drastically improved market conditions on the back of rouble appreciation and a high likelihood of further rate cuts from the central bank," Mikhail Galkin, analyst at MDM Bank, said.

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