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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputy Finance Minister Seeks Investment in U.S.

A top Finance Ministry official said Tuesday he was traveling to the United States this week to try to boost investor interest in his country.

The trip by Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin, in charge of foreign debt, comes as Russia mulls the issue of a new Eurobond, its first since the 1998 financial crisis. The new debt is aimed at getting the country back on the capital markets.

"I shall participate in talks with investment funds to increase investment in Russia after a hike in the rating of our Eurobonds," Kolotukhin told reporters. He was due to leave Wednesday, but gave no details of the trip.

The visit follows upgrades by ratings agencies for Russia at the end of last year.

The upgrades were based on a rapidly expanding economy due to higher prices for oil, Russia's main export, as well as ongoing structural reforms.

As well as a new Eurobond to raise funds for budget purposes, the government also plans to issue bonds to settle a restructuring of commercial debt inherited from the Soviet Union.

"We intend to issue the first Eurobond tranche in April or May 2002 to settle the commercial debt," he said.

The debt is that of credits received by Soviet companies from foreign trade companies without Soviet state guarantees. It fell into default after the Soviet collapse in 1991.

Russia's return to the international markets with a new issue would be a landmark event for the country, whose image was tarnished by the 1998 crisis.

However, some investors retained faith in Russia as it managed to continue to pay on time and in full the Eurobonds issued by the state before the crisis.

Also in April or May, the government is to decide on restructuring its $1.1 billion debt to the International Investment Bank and International Bank for Economic Cooperation Development.

They are banks of the now defunct Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, the trade body of the former Soviet bloc.