Best Sovereign DMO, Central and Eastern Europe 2016
First and foremost
Bulgaria’s decision to print a chunky sovereign bond in March without recourse to a pre-deal roadshow pointed to the country’s increasing financial sophistication and all-round sense of national confidence.
It also highlighted the rising regional and global investor demand for financial assets issued by a central and eastern European country with solid finances — a 3% annualised growth rate in 2015, low unemployment, low inflation, a 2% current account deficit — and a rare and happy knack of communicating well with investors and keeping them updated in between deals.
The big sovereign sale of the year was the first intraday euro-denominated trade ever completed by the country. Bulgaria priced the dual tranche sale in March, shrewdly timing it to settle into place in the wake of the European Central Bank’s decision to increase the scope and scale of its stimulus package.
The sale comprised a €1.144bn ($1.275bn) seven year with a yield of 1.875% and an €850m 12 year print with a yield of 3%. The deal was led by BNP Paribas, Citi, JP Morgan Chase and UniCredit. It was a print that also wrapped up the sovereign’s funding needs for the year with more than eight months to go. Bulgaria had shown the same ability to grab the moment 12 months previously when it wrapped up, in a tightening credit market, the largest ever euro deal by an emerging world borrower, raising €3.1bn.