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Gazprom’s borrowing program may shrink 14-21% - analysts

January 27, 2014, 18:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Analysts believe Gazprom will make its next Eurobond offering in February
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MOSCOW, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Borrowing program of the Russian gas giant Gazprom for 2014 will total $5.5-6 billion against about $7 billion raised in the bond market last year, Uralsib Capital’s analysts estimated especially for Itar-Tass.

“According to our estimates, this year the concern is to redeem about $5.4 billion worth of ruble bonds and Eurobonds,” Uralsib Capital’s analyst Tatyana Dneprovskaya told Itar-Tass. “Therefore, we believe the total borrowings to amount to $5.5-6 billion. The currency of choice will as usual depend on the company’s needs. For instance, the issuer is to repay 750 million euros worth of bonds on February 25 and $500 million - on March 8, so it is quite logical for Gazprom to make a placement in euros.”

The bank’s analysts also believe Gazprom will make its next Eurobond offering in February, the main reason being the need to refinance the short-term debt, the report goes.

As reported earlier, experts believe Gazprom will benefit from placing the 33rd series of euro-denominated Eurobonds.

“Rates are really low for euro-denominated Eurobonds and are expected to remain so, as there is quite a healthy investor demand for them. Demand for Gazprom’s bonds promises to be traditionally high as well,” Investcafe’s analyst Grigory Birg told Itar-Tass. He added the company previously made several lucrative placements in various currencies but would benefit from offering euro-denominated Eurobonds. Besides, Birg believes, the company will have difficulty raising the necessary long-term financing at a lucrative price in the domestic market.

Gazprom appointed Credit Agricole, JP Morgan and IFC Metropol to organize it series 33 Eurobond offering without disclosing the timing and size. The company was earlier reported to plan issuing series 33 Eurobonds worth 500 million euros to refinance the loan from Gaz Capital S.A.

Last year Gazprom offered 2.4 billion euros worth of Eurobonds, series 30, 31 and 32. In March the company sold Eurobonds in an amount of 1.5 billion euros in two tranches of 1 billion euros and 500 million euros (series 30 and 31). The first tranche maturing in March 2020 yielded 3.389% per annum, the second maturing in March 2025 - 4.464% per annum. Last July Gazprom offered five-year Eurobonds of series 32 worth 900 million euros. The bonds maturing on July 25, 2018 yielded 3.7% per annum.

The Eurobond program started in 2003 was since then increased from 30 billion to 40 billion. Over ten years Gaz Capital has issued bonds in dollars, euros, yens, pounds sterling and Swiss francs.

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