Central & Eastern Europe

Newly issued Belarusian sovereign Eurobonds continue to trade with wide spreads on mounting investor concerns ahead of the 9 August presidential elections. A peaceful transition of power in the style of the 2018 Armenian ‘Velvet revolution’ is the most desirable but nearly impossible outcome for the country which has been under the strong grip of Aliaksandr Lukashenka for the last 26 years, agreed most of the experts polled by Debtwire.

David Graves David Graves Associate Editor, Debtwire

Oleg Bakhmatyuk told Debtwire he believes the revival of an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of a UAH 1.2bn (USD 49.6m) stabilisation loan received by VAB Bank – a bank he previously owned that was liquidated in 2015 – is “purely politically motivated”.

Alexander Dooler Alexander Dooler Credit Markets Reporter, Debtwire

Vostochny Bank’s (Orient Express Bank) partial sale of its retail loan portfolio might not raise sufficient funds to comply with the central bank regulations and shareholder support is likely to be necessary to bolster its capital, agreed five sources polled by Debtwire. The Russia-based private bank needs to boost its capital levels by end-August to avoid a mandatory conversion of subordinated debt into equity or its principal write-down.

Tomas  Cutts Tomas Cutts Reporter, Russia & CIS, Debtwire

Ukrainian bonds have had a roller-coaster week so far but have recovered to levels above last Friday’s (24 May) close, following supportive comments from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team and a global investor call held by the country’s ministry of finance on 29 May, according to an analyst and a trader.

Laura  Gardner Cuesta Laura Gardner Cuesta Senior Reporter, Debtwire CEEMEA

As Ukraine’s tightly contested presidential race enters its last stretch this week, policy uncertainty is expected to dominate until a very likely second round of elections in April, if not until the October parliamentary polls, market participants told Debtwire. This uncertainty spells bad news for a country reliant on external funding to make USD 20bn in sovereign and quasi-sovereign debt repayments between 2019 and 2021, they said.

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