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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Eurobonds to Be Issued by '97

Russia will issue its first Eurobond toward the end of the year after fears from last week's scandal surrounding payments on stolen MinFin bonds have died down, a Finance Ministry official said Tuesday.


The market is expecting a $300 million to $400 million Eurobond with a three-year maturity.


The bond will be issued "sometime in September or October -- maybe at the end of the year -- after everybody has forgotten," said the official, who did not wish to be identified.


The official denied, however, that the issue was being delayed because of the crisis, triggered when the ministry said it was freezing payments on stolen MinFins worth up to $30 million. Some banks have said the amount is much higher.


The ministry announced the freeze Thursday and called the theft "massive," but did not say until Friday afternoon that the threat to the multibillion-dollar market was limited to $30 million, by which time the market had fallen.


The official said bankers had exaggerated the scope of the MinFin crisis for their own gain. "They are simply stirring things up. There are exact lists [of stolen bonds]," he said.


The ministry said in a statement Friday that it would redeem all maturing bonds and coupons as usual apart from a batch of stolen papers frozen under the orders of the Interior Ministry and prosecutors pending further investigation.


MinFin bonds are sold worldwide, although many are physically held in Vneshekonombank, which acts as the government's primary clearance and custody organization.