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Russia Sanctions

  • Russia's largest coal company is seeking an inaugural dollar bond, a pivot away from its traditional loan financing strategy
  • Hopes rose this week of a revival for Russia’s equity capital markets when the US Treasury extended a key sanctions licence until October, allowing aluminium conglomerate EN+ to continue with a plan that would remove sanctions on the company.
  • Despite worries that Russian investors are pulling away from London as the UK looks to pressure allies of the country's president Vladimir Putin, Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, this week told GlobalCapital that preserving the rule of law in the UK and making sure markets are “clean and honest” is more important than attracting Russian capital to London.
  • Euroclear’s refusal to continue settling Rusal trades when US sanctions were slapped on the company on April 6 may have saved many US bond investors from crystallising crippling losses. If the US plans further rounds of similar punishments, it should turn that happy accident into a permanent feature of the sanctions process.
  • The gloom over Russian capital markets was lifted a little this week as the US Treasury softened its stance towards sanctioned aluminium behemoth Rusal, giving hope to markets that the announcement of new sanctions against Russia at the beginning of April may not have been a knockout blow, write Sam Kerr, Francesca Young and Mike Turner.
  • The US Treasury, through the Office of Foreign Assets Control, has issued a new licence to US holders of debt or equity in EN+, Rusal and Gaz Group. It gives US persons until June 6 to divest their holdings in these companies, instead of the original deadline of May 7.
  • News last Friday from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) that Oleg Deripaska is set to give up his control of Rusal by removing his majority stake in EN+ (Rusal’s parent) is the best possible outcome at this point for the US, for Russia, and for investors.
  • Cherkizovo, the Russian meat and sausage producer seeking to list on the Moscow Exchange, has failed to get its re-IPO away, citing market volatility for postponing the deal.
  • Mining company Polymetal has converted an existing $80m bilateral credit facility with ING into a sustainability-linked loan. It is the first loan market activity from Russia since the US announced a fresh round of sanctions against some of the country’s oligarchs.
  • With the shock of the latest round of Russian sanctions receding a little, EM investors are already seeking out the opportunities that last week’s volatility created. Even one holder of the sanctioned and problematic Rusal debt said he has increased his exposure to Sberbank.
  • Lukoil has raised a $600m 10 year export credit agency-backed loan via its Uzbekistan subsidiary, as bankers say the loan market remains open for some Russian borrowers.
  • The CEEMEA bond market has proved resilient to the asset price crippling effects of the latest US sanctions against Russia with little evidence contagion. A steady stream of new issues this week confirmed that it is business as usual in the bond markets.
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