Hang in there, banks; Russia’s no riskier

International banks should stand their ground and continue lending to Russian borrowers. The weak, ineffective sanctions that the US rolled out last week have not affected Russia’s creditworthiness and some even argue that investors in the country face fewer risks than they did two weeks ago.

  • By Francesca Young
  • 08 Aug 2019
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A slew of emerging market loan bankers have said that they expect that the latest set of sanctions the US has slapped on Russia will bang the final nail in the coffin of an already sickly Russian syndicated loans market. 

As bank compliance departments ramp up their opposition to lending to the country, loans bankers fear a loss of business. But there is no need to panic.

The threat of sanctions that loomed over the markets until last week has proved false as the most powerless set of proscriptions possible emerged. Some thought they were so benign that they were evidence of US president Donald Trump shielding Russia from worse than it would have faced had US Congress dictated the terms. 

Secondary bond trading and the rouble held in as a result. The country's bonds have weakened in line with the wider market but no more. Fitch, for its part, even upgraded Russia one notch to BBB shortly after the sanctions were announced. Moody’s continues to rate the country Baa3 and S&P rates it BBB- — all investment grade.

Analysts are adamant that the risks of owning Russian debt have not increased. The country has plenty of cash. It's fiscal policy and foreign exchange reserves are the envy of much of the rest of the world. There are still unsanctioned corporates and banks to plough money into. 

International banks may well take an ultra-cautious approach to Russia, not wanting to fall foul of the US government. But there really is no need and they risk missing out on business if they do.

  • By Francesca Young
  • 08 Aug 2019

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 257,135.72 1154 8.48%
2 Citi 233,987.92 977 7.71%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 200,291.91 822 6.60%
4 Barclays 184,724.40 755 6.09%
5 HSBC 145,122.12 803 4.78%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 BNP Paribas 31,351.09 133 7.80%
2 Credit Agricole CIB 27,347.56 115 6.80%
3 JPMorgan 23,350.32 62 5.81%
4 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 22,838.09 62 5.68%
5 UniCredit 19,966.03 111 4.97%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 8,160.55 49 10.08%
2 Morgan Stanley 7,744.92 38 9.57%
3 Goldman Sachs 6,966.15 37 8.61%
4 Citi 5,856.44 44 7.24%
5 UBS 4,823.67 25 5.96%