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Source Research
August 02, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: Russian Eurobonds continued growing steadily on Friday, appreciating all in all 3% at the long end over the last two trading days
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET Russian Eurobonds continued growing steadily on Friday, appreciating all in all 3% at the long end over the last two trading days. Thus, the market has considerably recovered after a sell-off at the beginning of the last week. The negative background of the Yukos case has somewhat eased, which made the US Treasury market the main driver. Meanwhile, the US Treasuries have surged over the last two days, due to several reasons. First, record high oil prices bring up concerns about sustainability of economic growth. In this connection, the 2Q04 US GDP data came out considerably lower than expected on Friday, at 3.0% vs. 3.7% expected. Second, information on Al Qaeda reportedly preparing new terrorist attacks on the major US cities appeared on Friday, also stirring up more demand for US Treasuries. As a result, the yield of the 10-year US Treasury Notes fell from 4.60% to 4.43% over two days. Against this background, the Russia-30 added another 0.5% to 99.000-99.125 in Moscow trading on Friday, and the price reached 92.000 later in New York, although it was only 89.500 on Wednesday. It is worth noting that the Aries bonds outperformed the market again. The spread of the Aries-14 to the Russia- 30 has already narrowed to 95 bp, thus decreasing by half over the last month. Russian corporate and bank Eurobonds rose by 0.125-0.875%. We remain optimistic about the Russian Eurobond price trend in the medium and long term. Russian issues look cheap from the viewpoint of their spreads to US Treasuries and to other EMD, which should let them remain immune to some extent to interest rate hikes in the US. From the technical point of view, the market has more than once demonstrated during the last few months that demand for the Russia-30 tends to increase considerably when the spread reaches 350 bp, while sellers become significantly more active when the spread falls below 300 bp. The spread is near its upper boundary now (at 340 bp), and therefore we expect buyers to dominate in the market in the medium term. LOCAL DEBT MARKET The majority of the most liquid issues added 0.1-0.3% on Friday in rather quiet trading. Among the Moscow municipals, the most actively traded was the 31st issue, which remains yielding the most in the sector. In the Sub- Sovereign sector, buying prevailed on more trading activity, with the Moscow Region bonds being the leaders in turnover. Among the corporate blue chips, the VTB-4 saw the most turnover, while its position on the yield curve looks rather attractive to us. In the second and third tier, selective buying was observed. No important events are to take place in the primary market this week, and thus the secondary market should continue to be driven largely by the external debt market. In the second and third tier, we expect sporadic activity to stay in place. Given the current conditions in the domestic currency market and in the Eurobond market, it is possible to expect a weak uptrend to hold in the ruble issues. For the market to quit sideways trading, there is still insufficient clarity in the external markets and not enough investors in the domestic market, as part of them are on vacations.
VTB Capital Fixed Income Comment: Once again, the largest gains were registered across the longer duration
and more liquid Gazprom credits
Description
Russia’s external debt continued to advance on Friday with weaker than expected US GDP data providing the catalyst for a renewed bout of shortcovering and a stronger UST market subsequently provided support for EM debt. While gains were registered across Russia’s sovereign curve, both the RU18 and RU28 outperformed at the long end of the curve, up 1.10% and 1.0% on a price basis. At the same time, the benchmark RU30 also witnessed a similar move, trading up from an opening level of 913/8 to an intra-day high of 9115/16 before closing in New York at 917/8. With Russia slightly lagging the UST move upwards the RU30 spread over 10-year UST note widened slightly from 327 bps to 330 bps at close, and at this spread level remains around 3 bps higher over the previous week. Elsewhere in Russia, the ARIES cluster also moved higher with the ’14 issue registering the largest gains, closing at a new high of 1057/8 and resulting in the spread over RU30 tightening to around 92 bps. Despite corporate trading volumes remaining low, liquidity continues to improve and the sector as a whole moved higher in line with the sovereign curve. Once again, the largest gains were registered across the longer duration and more liquid Gazprom credits.
Sberbank CIB Fixed Income Weekly: Assuming that there is no negative news from the YUKOS affair, spreads could tighten slightly
Description
External Debt By far the main factor affecting Sovereign Eurobonds this week was developments in the YUKOS saga. The first two and a half days brought nothing but disappointment for Russian Eurobond holders and the flood of negative news caused foreign investors to bail out en masse. Many, it seems, are very negative about the Russian marketнs prospects in the medium term and are reducing their exposure across the board. This trend changed in the second half of Wednesday. Technically, the market was clearly oversold and a bounce seemed inevitable. At the same time, investor sentiment was given a boost by the decision of the bailiffнs office to recall the order forbidding YUKOSн subsidiaries from selling or otherwise disposing of property. As a result, the spread of the Russia 30, which had widened to 350 bps by mid week, dropped back to 325 bps by week end. The gloom spilled over into the corporate sector. Evraz Holding was forced to reduce its Eurobond placement from the planned $2000300 mln to $150 mln, citing unfavorable market conditions, while Gazprom saw its secured Eurobonds, placed last week, fell below 98% of par. Admittedly, the gas giant made matters worse itself by announcing plans to issue another $2.5 bln in similar bonds soon, so the risk of extra supply put additional pressure on the papers in circulation. Next week is unlikely to bring any major changes on the external debt market. Assuming that there is no negative news from the YUKOS affair, spreads could tighten slightly. Domestic Debt The ruble bond market has stagnated and prices of most papers are fluctuating slightly on low turnover. It is interesting that, unlike the Eurobond and equity markets, ruble bonds stood firm in the turbulence created by the developments in the YUKOS affair this week, mainly because there are so few foreign investors in the sector. That said, one knock0on effect from the YUKOS saga was becoming clearer towards week end. Demand for foreign currency inched up (as is typical during crises on the Russian market), which naturally made ruble bonds less attractive and pushed up rates on the money market, bringing down bond prices slightly. Meanwhile, some investors had cause to celebrate. Russian Standard Bankнs second0tranche bonds leapt from below par on Tuesday to over 104% on Wednesday morning, following news that French group BNP0 Paribas had bought a 50% stake in the company that owns 90% of the bank. The appearance of such a large international player has slashed the bankнs credit risk. Although the bonds cooled off slightly afterwards, we believe that they have reached new price heights. This event may signal the arrival of a new blue chip on the ruble bond market. Next week, we expect the market to stay flat and volumes to remain low.
July 30, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: In general, we remain optimistic about the Russian Eurobond trend in the medium and long term
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET After several days of continuous fall, the Russian Eurobonds bounced higher rather considerably yesterday. The Russian Eurobonds recovered in line with the rest of the Russian assets. The long Russian bonds added 1.5-2.5%, while their yields and spreads to US Treasuries decreased 20-30 bp over one day. The Russia-30 was strong, rising above 91.000 by the end of the day, while its spread to the 10Y UST reached 330 bp. Today, the Russia-30 extended its gains against the background of the generally stable US Treasuries. Today, the spread of the Russia-30 has already narrowed to 325 bp. In Russian corporate Eurobonds, liquidity and price action was seen almost exclusively in the long Gazprom issues (-13, - 20, and -34), which added 1.0-1.5% yesterday. In general, we remain optimistic about the Russian Eurobond trend in the medium and long term. LOCAL DEBT MARKET Rather significant slump in ruble liquidity in the banking system, with bank balances in correspondent accounts at the Central Bank falling to RUB 107 bn from RUB 141 bn and overnight rates rising above 6%, did not exert much influence on the ruble debt market. First, it should be noted that ruble liquidity still remains considerable enough, while investors are rather actively using the mechanism of repo deals with the Central Bank. Second, the main driver of the ruble bond market now is the external debt market, which has somewhat improved recently. Third, it is now is the holiday season, when the market has neither desire nor opportunity to move anywhere without obvious reasons. The majority of the most liquid issues were mixed within 0.1-0.3% in quiet trading on Monday. The yield curve of the long OFZ issues was almost unchanged at 7.55-8%, with no reasons for a significant move away from the current levels. Among the Moscow municipals, the most actively traded was the longest 38th issue, which fell slightly. In the Sub-Sovereign segment, moving out from the long Komi issues into the short 4th Komi issue was observed, which reflected the general market mood. In the corporate blue chips, the most actively traded was the TNK-5, which closed unchanged. In the second and third tier, semblance of activity was produced by sporadic, however rather considerable deals.
Raiffeisen Bank Russian Weekly Monitor: In our view, Russian Eurobonds are currently more sensitive to positive news than to negative, however the YUKOS bankruptcy could suppress prices in the short term
Description
• A combination of fundamental and psychological factors have taken their toll on the Russian Eurobond market, pushing prices down and widening spreads to the level of 332-335 bps for Russia’30. In our view, Russian Eurobonds are currently more sensitive to positive news than to negative, however the YUKOS bankruptcy could suppress prices in the short term. • The rouble bond market remains less sensitive to external news, leaving the level of rouble liquidity in the system as the main price driver, although trading remains sluggish.
VTB Capital Fixed Income Comment: Indeed, gains were registered across the sovereign curve...
July 29, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: A panic sell-off in the Russian equity market yesterday produced another correction day in all the Russian Eurobonds
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET A panic sell-off in the Russian equity market yesterday produced another correction day in all the Russian Eurobonds. By the end of the trading session in Moscow, the long bond prices fell 1-2%. However, volatility increased sharply yesterday, which is a sign of a local bottom. The Russia- 30 held at 90.000-90.250 during most of the day, but retreated to 89.500 by 18:00 MSK on mass selling, while its spread to UST widened to 351 bp. The catalyst of the decline was the same Yukos case and a plunge in the Russian stock market. However, the Russia-30 rebounded sharply in late NY trading on short covering and direct buying. The price of the Russia-30 surged to 90.875, increasing 1.375% compared to the Moscow close. The price rose against the background of a relatively successful auction of the new 2-year US Treasuries. In addition, a sharp surge in oil prices was interpreted by investors as a possible hindrance to economic growth in the US. As a result, the yield of 10-year UST fell to 4.60% from 4.64% in NY trading. In corporate Eurobonds, liquidity on the buying side suffered considerably, although the prices of most issues fell no more than 0.25- 0.5%. Only the long liquid Gazprom issues (such as the Gazprom -13, -34, and -20) followed the Sovereigns, shedding 1%. The Russian Standard Bank Eurobonds moved noticeably against the broad market, following the purchase of a 50% stake in the bank by BNP Paribas. The Russian Standard-07 jumped 3% at once (the yield fell 127 bp during one day), momentarily playing out the entire upside. On the yield curve, the Russian Standard bonds have almost equaled the bonds of TNK, which also has a major foreign shareholder, British Petroleum. The market opened today a bit weaker than the NY close, but considerably stronger than the Moscow close. The Russia-30 stabilized around 90.250. We believe that the market should be inclined to growth in the next few days, because a sharply wider spread of Russian Eurobonds to UST has created value for buying. LOCAL DEBT MARKET We believe the main reason for stagnation in the ruble debt market to be not a decline in ruble liquidity due to tax payments, but rather a considerably worse situation in the external debt market, and a general worsening of the country’s investment climate due to the development of the Yukos case. The investors in Eurobonds and ruble-denominated blue chips are the same major banks, which considerably diminishes the odds that the ruble-denominated first tier will rise in the short term. The currency premium has considerably decreased, and does not exceed 100 bp between the long MinFin bonds and OFZs at present. However, the current price slump in the external debt market seems fundamentally unfounded to us. In the medium term, we expect the external, and, therefore, domestic debt market to recover.The majority of the most liquid issues inched down 0.1-0.3% on Wednesday. The second- and third-tier bonds were mixed in sporadic dealing. The undisputed leader yesterday was the Russian Standard-2, which added some 3% and closed at 103.5%, implying a YTM of 12.3%. Transition of the bank’s debt liabilities in a qualitatively better category because of a purchase of half of the bank’s shares by BNP Paribas leaves a growth potential for the rubledenominated bonds as well as the Eurobonds of the Bank.
July 28, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: Russian Eurobonds continued their protracted slide yesterday
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET Russian Eurobonds continued their protracted slide yesterday. The catalysts of the decline remain the “Yukos case” and weak US Treasuries. The Russia-30 fell to 90.000 by the New York close, in line with a considerable US Treasury decline on positive US consumer confidence data that came out higher than expected. The yield of 10-year US Treasury Notes rose 12 bp to 4.62%, reaching a month’s high. Against this background, investor demand may be weak at today’s auction of the new 2Y UST. Nevertheless, the main part of the decline in Russian Eurobonds took place during the Moscow trading day, when the US Treasuries were relatively stable. The Russia-30 fell to 90.375, with the yield of the 10Y UST at 4.50%, and thus the spread widened to 350 bp. Therefore, the main share of the Russian asset selling was due to domestic factors. The Aries- 14 outperformed the market again, which resulted in the Aries-14 spread to the Russia-30 narrowing to 102 bp. Russian corporate Eurobonds fell 0.25- 1.375%. The leaders of the fall were the long-maturity Gazprom bonds (the Gazprom-13 and -34). The new Evrazholding-09 Eurobonds fell 0.5% to 99.500 immediately after their yesterday’s placement, although the issue volume was less than expected. Investor appetite for corporate risk is low presently. Bank issues also shed 0.5-1%, reacting to the latest rating and rating outlook of a number of banks downgrades by Moody\'s and S&P. It should be noted that the summer holiday season appears to be generally detrimental to the emerging markets. Even limited selling pushes prices noticeably lower in a thin market. We believe that, with an increase in trading activity in September, buyers should dominate, because buying of Russian Eurobonds for a medium and long term has become attractive from the viewpoint of the country spread. LOCAL DEBT MARKET OFZs closed mixed within 0.1-0.2% on Tuesday. Worth noting is a common tendency towards buying very short bonds of high credit quality, against the background of generally quite passive investor behaviour. The external debt market is weak, which questions considerable increases in the ruble debt market in the near term. This, in turn, decreases speculative buying interest of medium and small-sized investors. Only quite a narrow range of the biggest investors can afford increasing their portfolio duration without much fear, having a longer investment horizon. It should be noted, however, that, judging by the transacted volumes, only a few biggest investors are present in the market now, especially in the Moscow municipal sector. The rest of the players do not demonstrate activity. In the Moscow municipal sector, rather considerable buying of medium-dated issues was noted. In sub-Sovereigns and corporates, sporadic deals are taking place without a distinct trend. In the first tier, investor activity is rather high compared to the whole market, but its level has decreased quite much. The main event in the market was confirmation of the rumors that the French bank BNP Paribas was buying a stake in the Russian Standard Bank. From the morning, the Russian Standard-2 bonds surged 4% to 104.3%, implying a yield of 11.75% with duration of 1.7 years. Strictly speaking, if we were to draw parallels between this deal and the TNK-BP deal, it could be possible to expect the bank’s bonds to move into the quasi-Sovereign bond category, similar to the TNK-5 (with a YTM of 8.95% and duration of some 2 years). We recommend the Russian Standard bonds for buying with a medium-term investment horizon. In the short term, limited liquidity of the issue and general market apathy are unlikely to allow the price to rise considerably from the present levels.
July 27, 2004
Alfa Bank Fixed Income Market Weekly: We believe emerging markets will be more sensitive to any bad news that may come out and less reactive to positive events
Description
GKO-OFZ market Current conditions on the GKO-OFZ market point to decreased interest and low liquidity: demand for government bonds is on its way down. Eurobond market This week’s big events will include the US Fed’s release of the Beige Book (July 28) and the publication of US inflation figures for Q2 (July 29- 30). We believe emerging markets will be more sensitive to any bad news that may come out and less reactive to positive events that result from a sharp cutback of monetary funds in investor portfolios following the placement of a substantial volume of new issues. Market of corporate and municipal Eurobonds Corporate foreign debt reacted only slightly to the market’s general downward trend compared to sovereigns, due to low liquidity and the success of Gazprom’s latest Eurobond issue.
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: At present, based on the widened spread of Russian Eurobonds to UST, and other EMD, we recommend buying Russian Eurobonds on dips
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET The Russian Eurobond market continued trending down yesterday after an upward rebound on Friday. Along with the domestic factor in the shape of the “Yukos case”, a foreign factor revealed itself in the form of US Treasuries\' decline against the background of the tomorrow’s auction of 2- year US Treasuries. Investors feared low demand from Japanese investors at the auction, which caused a general yield increase of US Treasuries of 5-7 bp yesterday. The yield of 10-year US Treasury Notes rose to 4.49% from 4.44% seen in the early Moscow trading. In the end, Russian Eurobonds lost 1-2% yesterday. The Russia-30 held most of the day around 91.250-91.500 yesterday, but fell to 90.750 by the end of the day, and extended losses to 90.375 this morning. However, most of the fall was associated with spread widening to UST, as the spread of the Russia-30 to the 10Y UST has already increased to 350 bp. It should be noted that prices are falling in a very thin market, against the background of the peak of the summer holiday season. In the Russian corporate Eurobond segment, liquidity was even worse yesterday. For 60-70% of the issues, there were even no quotes on broker screens, while sporadically traded papers lost some 0.5%. At present, based on the widened spread of Russian Eurobonds to UST, and other EMD, we recommend buying Russian Eurobonds on dips. LOCAL DEBT MARKET Deprived of one of the most liquid issues, with the Gazprom-3 blocked before coupon payment, the market has fallen in almost full dormancy. It looks like an objective decrease in business activity is coming into play due to the summer holiday season, in addition to a general liquidity decline associated with the recent crisis. This spring and summer have been rich with events compared to the previous ones, and it is possible to assert with a good deal of probability that the market has been somewhat tired of crises and uncertainty. This results in the desire of most market investors to restrain from abrupt market moves without need. Despite attractive enough yields, the market risks of interest rate increases and liquidity drop are still strong in the minds of market investors. Major commercial and State banks remain the main players in the market, as they are less worried about the need to earn enough in order to offset their expensive obligations, and can afford buying first-tier issues with medium-term investment horizon. The majority of the most liquid issues were mixed within ± 0.1-0.3% on minimal turnover on Monday. The yield curve of long issues is now at 7.5- 8%, and there are no substantial reasons or resources to move significantly away from the current levels. In Moscow municipals, most demand was in medium-term issues, which appreciated up to 0.1%. Among corporate blue chips, the most actively traded was the RusAl-2, which fell slightly. Among second-tier issues, selective buying prevailed. In the third tier, nonaggressive selling continues.
July 26, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: Folowing a sell-off on Wednesday and Thursday, a technical correction on short covering took place on Friday
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET Folowing a sell-off on Wednesday and Thursday, a technical correction on short covering took place on Friday. An initiative of a group of Western investors to cover Yukos’ tax liabilities catalyzed the growth, as the previous selling, including the bond market, was caused by negative news about Yukos. The US Treasury had been stable throughout the recent days, and therefore the Russian Eurobond market was driven exclusively by domestic factors. The Russia-30 increased to 92.375 by the Moscow close, adding 0.75%, while its spread to the 10Y UST narrowed to 327 bp. The Aries-14 increased 1% to 105.625. Thanks to the Aries-14 performing better than the market over the last few days, its yield spread to the Russia-30 narrowed to 104 bp. In the corporate segment, worth noting was the placement of 15- year Gazprom Eurobonds with an investment grade rating, secured by exports. Their yield appeared to be 25-30 bp less than the Russian Sovereign yield curve, while demand exceeded the issue volume fourfold. As a result, this caused robust growth of other Gazprom bonds in the secondary market, by some 1-1.5%. The Evrazholding shed 0.125% against the background of the current new 5-year bond placement by the company. The planned yield of the 5-year Evrazholding Eurobonds is some 10.50-11%, and thus a number of investors were selling the short EvrazHolding, yielding 9%, to participate in the new issue. Bank Eurobonds also continued gradually recovering. Today, the market opened a bit lower. The Russia-30 eased to 92.000. LOCAL DEBT MARKET The OFZs closed almost unchanged on minimal turnover. The yield curve of long issues was marked down below 8% and is now at 7.47-7.97%. The Moscow municipals were mixed on less turnover. The Moscow-31, yielding the most among all the issuer’s bonds, performed the best. Most first-tier corporates added 0.1-0.2%, with the Gazprom-3 remaining the sector leader. Investor activity has been increasing in telecom and second-tier bonds, where demand is seen primarily in reliable enough issues. The yields of most issues have been gradually declining on buying by smallsized investors. In the entire corporate bond market, the first tier is the only segment that remains in a clear price trend accompanied with substantial enough investor activity. No important events are expected either in the primary or secondary market this week. Against the background of the stable ruble, the main events are going to take place in the external debt market, which favours ruble bonds for the time being. The most probable scenario is that the gradual uptrend hold in the Sub-Sovereign and first-tier corporate issues on demand from major market participants. In other sectors, the most reliable and liquid bonds (such as telecoms, a number of banks’ issues, and strong second-tier bonds) have rather good recovery prospects. The third-tier bond prospects look rather pessimistic to us.
July 23, 2004
Raiffeisen Bank Strategy: Russia - Russia sine YUKOS
Description
With preparation for the sale of YUKOS\' crown jewel, Yuganskneftegaz (YNG), on the fast track, the yearlong saga that has taken markets for a virtual roller coaster ride looks to be nearing its final chapter, and it may not be a “Hollywood ending”. While a compromise solution still remains a possibility – if Menatep manages to come up with a consolidated proposal amenable to the government – it now seems to be a remote one. In this note we present our view regarding possible outcomes of the “YUKOS affair”, along with an assessment of the medium-term implications for Russian financial markets and key macroeconomic indicators, and, of course, YUKOS’ stock. In the longer run, we see institutional consequences as having more weight.
Sberbank CIB Fixed Income Weekly: Next week, Russia\'s external debt instruments will probably continue to follow the lead of the US Treasuries
Description
External Debt This weekнs external debt market was a tale of falling prices and widening spreads in both the Sovereign and the corporate segments. Two main reasons were behind this, one stemming from developments in Russia and the other from events in the international arena. First, the court bailiffsн decision to sell off YUKOSн core asset, Yuganskneftegaz, to cover the companyнs tax arrears sent shockwaves through the corporate bond segment, which then spread to the rest of the market. Second, the two statements from US Federal Open Markets Committee Chairman Alan Greenspan gave investors further cause to expect an interest rate rise in the US in August. Naturally, this increased the correlation between the Russian Sovereigns and US Treasuries, the latter of which fell in price over the week. Nonetheless, investors are still on the lookout for Russian debt instruments. In particular, strong demand prompted Gazprom to increase its secured Eurobond issue, which is currently being placed, from $1 bln to $1.25 bln. Many investors view these papers as a solid defensive play (especially given their investment5grade) in the currently unfavorable market conditions. Next week, Russiaнs external debt instruments will probably continue to follow the lead of the US Treasuries. Domestic Debt The ruble debt market was fairly calm this week, the low rates on the money market encouraging selective buying, mostly in the first tier. This pushed up the prices of most bonds in the first half of the week, but the gains were then virtually wiped out as the tension around YUKOS mounted. Investor nervousness about the situation in the corporate sector overall first prompted a small correction, then trade waned and the market stagnated. Only in the first tier did activity heat up, although turnover plummeted there also. In the second tier, the situation deteriorated on the back of news that StroiMetResurs had failed to fulfill its obligations on a veksel issue. This may make investors more cautious about companies with a similar credit rating. Next week, the ruble bond market is likely to remain stable. As we do not expect tension to flare up on the money market at month end, there should be no pressure from interest rates.
July 22, 2004
Baku Stock Exchange Monthly information bulletin #5: Last week on Baku Stock Exchange no movement was observed on the primary market, which can be tied to the seasonal decline in business activity
July 21, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily:The US economic data published on Thursday and Friday triggered further strong growth in emerging market bonds.LONG GAZPROM-13 VS. SHORT GAZPROM-34,LONG ARIES-14 VS. SHORT RUSSIA-30
July 16, 2004
Sberbank CIB Fixed Income Weekly: This week saw a major change of heart on Russiaнs external debt market
Description
This week saw a major change of heart on Russiaнs external debt market. Over the first couple of days, the completion of a sell order made last week by Western investors caused Sovereign spreads to widen (in particular, the Russia 30нs reached 360 bps on Monday). However, the overseas players soon calmed down and many locals took advantage of the opportunity to build speculative positions. Strangely enough, the sign of a changing tide came in the form of S&Pнs confirmation of Russiaнs rating at BB-. For the many investors who are expecting Russia to receive an investment grade soon, this should have been bad news. However, the reaction was the opposite: prices of external debt instruments actually started to rise. The uncertainty over Russiaнs credit rating seemed to play a role here. At first, the wave hit the quasi= Sovereigns (the Aries and Gazprom papers) before spreading to the corporate Eurobond sector. The flames may have been fanned by S&P awarding Gazpromнs planned secured Eurobond issue an investment=grade rating, the first in the history of Russian issuers. Next week, the upbeat mood should continue. The center of attention will probably be the corporate Eurobonds.
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: Provided moderate inflation data, emerging markets have a good chance to extend their rally in the medium term. As a result, Russian Eurobonds extended gains yesterday.
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET The recent four- or five-day growth in emerging market bonds was fueled further by the US economic data published yesterday, which produced new demand for high-risk debt. The US PPI and industrial production were unexpectedly into the red, while initial jobless claims came out higher than expected. This considerably decreases the probability of further interest rate hikes in the US, at least at the next several Fed meetings. This matter should be finally clarified today with publication of the US CPI. Provided moderate inflation data, emerging markets have a good chance to extend their rally in the medium term. As a result, Russian Eurobonds extended gains yesterday. The growth was especially aggressive in the Aries bonds. The Aries-14 increased another 0.75% and hit a new high of 104.25-104.50. The Russia-30 increased to 92.750-92.875. Spreads to US Treasuries shed another 3-5 bp. Russian corporate Eurobonds extended gains by another 0.25-1%. The leaders of the growth were the long-maturity Gazprom bonds. Russian bank Eurobonds are recovering fast (+0.25-0.75%). LOCAL DEBT MARKET Most OFZs added another 0.3-1.3% on average on medium turnover yesterday. The yield curve of long issues is now at 7.5-7.95%. The most actively traded Moscow municipals and first-tier corporates increased 0.1- 0.3% in rather quiet trading. The market is now likely to pause ahead of possible further yield decreases. The first tier has but returned to its “precrisis” levels, and consolidation at the current levels may be expected in the short term. On the one hand, excess ruble supply from major investors and generally greater investor demand for liquid and reliable instruments makes investments in this segment rather promising, suggesting a possibility for the segment to outperform the market, provided full market revival. However, investors have currently returned to basic considerations, when it is possible for them not to fear a price collapse in the first tier on technical factors, and thus they may analyse fundamental attractiveness of yields, including currency premium, inflation level and other factors. This, in turn, may entail less investor activity, as investors will need to reassess the prospects of the ruble debt market recovery and make judgement as to its attractiveness relative to the key inter-bank credit, Eurobond, and currency markets. In the second and third tiers, yield decreases may be expected against the background of minimal trading activity. There are no major buyers of illiquid issues at no significant yield premium now, while most banks are now unwilling to sell at “default” yields.
Raiffeisen Bank Russian Weekly Monitor: July 9 – July 15, 2004
Description
• The CBR announced a number of measures to help nurse the shaky banking sector back to health after last week\'s outbreak of panic. • President Putin delivered his annual budget policy address to parliament, stressing the need to further lower the tax burden in the economy, streamline state expenditures and keep a tight lid on spending from the stabilization fund. • On July 15 the government discussed its internal and external debt management program for 2005. • S&P affirmed Russia\'s sovereign long-term foreign currency rating at BB+ (stable), leaving it one notch shy of investment grade.
July 14, 2004
Baku Stock Exchange Monthly information bulletin #13: Activity on the market basically depends on the willingness of potential issuer to issue bonds
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: No particularly strong axes today in the corporates, except Severstal 14 where we are active on both sides
Description
No particularly strong axes today in the corporates, except Severstal 14 where we are active on both sides. WE continue to like Aries 14. Our analyst pojtn sout in the dialy that the spread between Russian and Mexico has widened to the level of two years ago -- 150bps. It was as tight as 25bps in October. So we like the R30\'s apread to UST and to Mexico 16\'s. A rash of new issues seem to be an offer. The live deals are VTB and Evraz. The others being mentioned in the press are planning on issueing in late \'04, early \'05.
July 13, 2004
B&N Bank Fixed Income Daily: Persisting low liquidity in corporate Eurobonds does not encourage investing in this segment, except the Gazprom
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET Russian Eurobonds continued rising yesterday against the background of stable UST and further weakening of crisis tendencies in the Russian banking sector. Furthermore, S&P’s confirmation of Russia’s rating at “ВВ+” and the agency\'s opinion that there will be no serious bank crisis in Russia, added optimism. As a result, the market continued recovering at a fast pace. Sovereigns added 1-2%. The Russia-30 rose to 91.750 from 89.750, where it was Friday morning. Thus, the spread of the Russia-30 to UST narrowed by 30 bp to 330 bp. The Aries-14 inched up to 102.00, while its spread to UST remained at 150 bp. At the same time, selective demand for bank Eurobonds began to appear. Alfa Bank and MDM bonds added 0.5- 1%, and the Nomos Bank bonds that have fallen sharply last week, increased 1.5% yesterday. In corporate Eurobonds, liquidity remained low, while prices increased insignificantly, by some 0.25%. The Gazprom underperformed the market on announcement of a new Eurobond issue secured by gas exports. We believe that selective buying of Sovereigns may be attractive at current price levels. For example, the Russia-30 looks attractive to buy at a spread to 350 bp to UST with subsequent profit taking at a spread below 300 bp. We continue to recommend buying the Aries-14. Persisting low liquidity in corporate Eurobonds does not encourage investing in this segment, except the Gazprom. LOCAL DEBT MARKET In the ruble debt market, investor mood has evidently improved, but this still results in stabilization in the 1st tier and appearance of buy orders in the most oversold 2nd-tier issues. Investors having free ruble resources continue to remain on the sidelines and place buy orders quite cautiously. The segment of 1st-tier corporates, telecom bonds and subfederals remains the most promising one from the viewpoint of market entry at current yield. These issues’ relatively high liquidity, long duration and, at the same time, remaining opportunity to use these 1st-tier instruments to finance own positions through Repo, makes these papers the first candi-dates for buying by large investors. First of all, this concerns banks state-banks, whose excess ruble liquidity has increased now. Simultaneously, mass buy limit closure on 2nd- and 3rd-tier issues considerably decreases their liquidity and, therefore, limits their prospects of fast growth.
Alfa Bank Fixed Income Market Weekly: However, if the general situation changes, we will see a re-evaluation of company-issued eurobond yields, which will drive prices down
Description
GKO-OFZ market Most small and mid-sized market players are still feeling the low liquidity, which is restraining demand on the OFZ market. The main players are still major operators capable of triggering massive sales to support the market. This week we can expect to see government bond prices consolidate at current levels. Eurobond market This week the catalysts for investors will include U.S. inflation data, which should determine by how much the US Federal Reserve increases its rates. Meanwhile, the spread between Russian Eurobonds and US Treasury rates has reached an unjustifiably high level, which should gradually decrease as a result of all the bad news on the domestic front. Market of corporate and municipal Eurobonds Just as investors tend to treat “Aries” securities like sovereign bonds, the overpricing of corporate bonds tends to even out with time. When conditions are overall favorable, the prices of new issues increase, which in turn helps keep corporate bond prices at steady levels. However, if the general situation changes, we will see a re-evaluation of company-issued Eurobond yields, which will drive prices down.
July 12, 2004
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: However, it is already possible to forecast recovery in Sovereigns.
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET The last day of the week was noted with sizeable increases in Russian Sovereign Eurobonds and some of Russian bank Eurobonds on short covering against the background of stabilization and first signs of improvement in the Russian banking system. Buying was triggered by Moody\'s confirmation of Russia’s rating at an investment grade and the news that Alfa Bank shareholders were ready to provide up to $1.2 bn to cope with deposit outflow from the bank, as well as the news that Guta Bank would be bought by VneshTorgBank. However, the situation was far from optimistic at the beginning of the day on Friday. The Russia-30 hit a local low of 89.750 on aggressive selling in New York on Thursday. However, the spread of the Russia-30 to UST reaching 360 bp (+70 bp in 10 days) triggered short covering. In this connection, it is worth noting that there were many Russia-30 shorts in the market, as many investors hedged in this way their long positions in low-liquid Russian corporate Eurobonds. As a result, steady buying continued throughout the day, and the Russia-30 increased to 90.750 by the end of the day on Friday, and has already reached 91.375 by midday today. The Aries-14, traded at 100.750 Friday morning, have reached 101.500 today. The Alfa Bank and MDM Eurobonds also added 1-2% on Friday. In other corporates, liquidity remained minimal, and prices continued gradually decreasing. Further developments in Russian Eurobonds should depend on the situation in the banking system. However, it is already possible to forecast recovery in Sovereigns. LOCAL DEBT MARKET Situation somewhat stabilized in the ruble debt market on Friday. Investors’ emotions eased, and high yields began overweighing expectations of possible situation deterioration. It is possible to state cautious buying in highly reliable and liquid issues, such as the Moscow bonds and first-tier corporates, at the same time noting continued selling in the second and third tier to an extent allowed by liquidity that remained minimal. Overall, investors are to remain extremely cautious in respect to market risks in the near future, and activity is therefore likely to be concentrated only in highly reliable issues. Second- and third-tier issues are to see a prolonged confidence recovery period in case of further situation improvement, or otherwise liquidation selling if medium-sized and small banks continue experiencing problems with financing.
Sberbank CIB Fixed Income Weekly: The Russian external debt market was wracked with nervousness last
week
Description
External Debt The Russian external debt market was wracked with nervousness last week. The banking crisis and the uncertainty over the fate of YUKOS caused concern among investors and prompted a sellBoff, with the Eurobonds of banks bearing the brunt of the blow. By far the worst development, though, was the news that Germany intends to мmonetizeо more of Russiaнs debt to it via the Paris Club in only six months (any earlier is not possible due to restrictions in the issue prospectus). The news was carried by the German media, which also reported that another EURO5 bln may be securitized and that France and Italy might follow suit. On Thursday, a representative of the German government who is in Moscow with Chancellor Gerhard Schroder announced that more of the Aries bonds would not be issued for another year at least. The statement was an attempt to allay investorsн concerns and reassure them that a supply increase is unlikely in the short term. However, it had the opposite effect: players interpreted this as meaning that Germany is thinking seriously about issuing more bonds soon. This triggered a major selling spree in both the Sovereign and the corporate segments. Clearly, many investors view the Aries bonds and other similar papers as being closer to nonBstate securities than to Russian Sovereigns in terms of risk. Next week, we expect prices to continue fluctuating. The excessively high spreads of the Sovereigns over the US Treasuries (the Russia 30нs is 345 bps) might tighten. Domestic Debt This week has seen the ruble bond market react fairly sharply to the growing crisis in the banking sector. The suspension of operations by Guta Bank, an active player in the private deposit sector, and the rumors that other large commercial banks face a similar fate hit ruble bonds hard. Selling, even of the firstBtier papers, rocketed. This may have been partly linked to the reduction of REPO transactions by some players or the redirection of some of the investment flow into hard currency, which pushed up the rubleBdollar exchange rate to R29.1B29.15/$1. The latter is a traditional escape route for Russian players in a crisis situation. As a result, yields shot up (in particular, the Gazprom 3нs rose above the 10.5% mark). Interestingly, prices dropped on the back of high turnover and the main buyers were foreign investors, who have evidently remained calmer about the banking sectorнs problems. Next week, the banks might receive the money from the mandatory reserve, which could improve the situation on the market slightly, and prices might rise.
July 09, 2004
Raiffeisen Bank Russian Weekly Monitor: Another wave of uncertainty sweeps across the banking sector
Description
The volatile situation in the banking sector flared up again midweek, as news of Guta-bank\'s default and rumors of “problems” at Russia\'s fourth largest bank, Alfa-bank, triggered a wave of panic among both lenders and depositors. Several Russian banks reportedly halted lending operations, while others saw their main source of liquidity dry up as apprehension and mistrust all but paralyzed the jittery interbank lending market. Asset prices started to plummet in the wake of a massive sell-off by banks searching for liquidity. Luckily, Central Bank officials took action to restore stability, acknowledging that the situation presented a serious threat to Russia\'s fragile banking sector.
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: Nevertheless, buying on sharp dips is already attractive...
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET CBR’s reassuring measures managed to influence financial markets only for a short time. Selling began increasing across the entire spectrum of Russian foreign currency-denominated bonds yesterday morning and finished with a serious fall in NY trading. The Russia-30 fell below the 91.000 level yesterday morning and traded around 90.500-90.625 (-1%) during most of the day. However, in New York, the price of the Russia-30 broke below the 90.000 level on considerable new supply. Because Russian papers moved against the background of stable US Treasuries solely on the factor of the domestic banking crisis, the spread of the Russia-30 to UST increased to 360 bp – a maximum since May 10, 2004, when the market crumbled against the background of sharp yield increase of US Treasuries. Russian bank bonds fell considerably again. Steady selling in these bonds meets with an absolute absence of buyers of 2nd-tier bank papers. For example, while there remained relatively normal liquidity in Alpha Bank and MDM bonds, at the same time absence of liquidity in NOMOS Bank bonds caused their price to fall by 5% to 91.000, implying a yield increase of 500 bp during several days. Russian corporate Eurobonds fell yesterday 0.5-1.5% on low liquidity. In the short term, the market is to remain in downtrend. Selling of Russian banks’ bonds is explained with investors’ unwillingness to have bank risk in their portfolios in the situation of possible collapse of a new bank. Selling in Russian Sovereigns and corporates originates from a wide range of Russian banks and is aimed at accumulating cash to compensate possible fund outflow. Generally, with the exception of bank bonds, Russian Sovereigns and corporates have already become attractive for buying, but the threat of liquidation selling is still present, and therefore it is risky to establish long positions for the time being. Nevertheless, buying on sharp dips is already attractive.. LOCAL DEBT MARKET While first-class corporates and subfederals remained relatively steady yesterday, the picture in the second and third tiers resembled a market crash. In the absence of buyers, small- and medium-sized banks attempted to sell everything and at any price. The issues of dubious credit quality and/or liquidity saw no demand even at “default” yields. However, in a number of bonds (especially telecom bonds), a sharp increase in yields made strategic buyers to emerge. It should be remembered that the impact of bank crisis is quite segmented, and there are investors in the market who have free cash, such as foreigners, State banks, major private banks, and mutual, pension and insurance funds. The majority of those investors are rather conservative, while the current yields of Moscow municipals, subfederals and the most reliable corporates make long-term and mediumterm investments already attractive.
July 08, 2004
Baku Stock Exchange Information Bulletin #5: The placement of “Azerigazbank” and “Zaminbank” bonds has taken place
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: Obviously, investors should exercise maximum caution in the market now and limit their longs, as the risk of position liquidation in the majority of issues is very high now
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET Having started on an optimistic note yesterday, the Russian Eurobond market was unable to keep its gains and fell 0.5-1% by the end of the day. The selling of Russian assets was triggered by the widening bank crisis in Russia, where the activity of Guta Bank, one of the major Russian banks, has been suspended, and less than optimistic comments by S&P concerning the prospects of Russia receiving an investment grade rating (see the News). All this added nervousness to the Russian financial market, leading to a plunge in all the Russian financial market assets, including ruble bonds, Eurobonds and shares. In the first half of the day, prices were up 0.25-0.375%. The Russia-30 was as high as 93.375, while the Aries-14 increased to 103.375. However, selling later pushed these assets’ prices down to 92.375 and 102.625 respectively. As a result, in the EMBI+ index, the Russian segment was one of the few that declined yesterday. Other emerging market bonds mainly increased following the price increase of US Treasuries. The situation was even more dramatic in Russian bank Eurobonds, that fell 2-3% yesterday and extended their losses by another 2-3% today. Rumors concerning possible problems of new banks make many investors to simply liquidate positions. Russian Sovereign Eurobonds also fell today, as investors are actively moving into the most liquid asset – cash. The Russia-30 fell to 91.500, while the Aries-14 declined to 101.625. Obviously, investors should exercise maximum caution in the market now and limit their longs, as the risk of position liquidation in the majority of issues is very high now. LOCAL DEBT MARKET Despite the fact that rumors concerning Guta Bank’s problems have circulated in the market for quite a long time, formal suspension of work of one of the 30 largest Russian banks became a blow for the market. Yesterday, the market took it rather calmly, as selling was observed, but there was no mass position closing. However, the mood of investors has obviously worsened today, as slight panic is seen in the market. Evidently, only a very limited range of people have the information, to what extent the situation is really grave in the banking sphere, while the overwhelming majority of investors are subject to panic mood and rumors. It should be noted that only several banks comprising the 30 largest Russian banks are truly commercial banks, while the rest are to a different extent affiliated with the State or with the non-residents of Russia. Judging by the plummeting bank Eurobonds and total absence of buyers, the main investors’ question now is whether commercial banks will be able to survive in the crisis. What concerns ruble bonds, the main investors in the non-government bond market remain commercial banks. At the moment, there are few those willing to risk and buy the bonds that may collapse in case of possible position liquidation by banks. While earlier, that was true in respect to mainly the second- and third-tier issues, now it may apply to the first tier, too. In the current situation, it is hardly possible to speak of taking any long positions. Investments in ruble bonds look quite risky now.
July 07, 2004
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: The selling of Russian assets was triggered by the widening bank crisis in Russia
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET Having started on an optimistic note yesterday, the Russian Eurobond market was unable to keep its gains and fell 0.5-1% by the end of the day. The selling of Russian assets was triggered by the widening bank crisis in Russia, where the activity of Guta Bank, one of the major Russian banks, has been suspended, and less than optimistic comments by S&P concerning the prospects of Russia receiving an investment grade rating (see the News). All this added nervousness to the Russian financial market, leading to a plunge in all the Russian financial market assets, including ruble bonds, Eurobonds and shares. In the first half of the day, prices were up 0.25-0.375%. The Russia-30 was as high as 93.375, while the Aries-14 increased to 103.375. However, selling later pushed these assets’ prices down to 92.375 and 102.625 respectively. As a result, in the EMBI+ index, the Russian segment was one of the few that declined yesterday. Other emerging market bonds mainly increased following the price increase of US Treasuries. The situation was even more dramatic in Russian bank Eurobonds, that fell 2-3% yesterday and extended their losses by another 2-3% today. Rumors concerning possible problems of new banks make many investors to simply liquidate positions. Russian Sovereign Eurobonds also fell today, as investors are actively moving into the most liquid asset – cash. The Russia-30 fell to 91.500, while the Aries-14 declined to 101.625. Obviously, investors should exercise maximum caution in the market now and limit their longs, as the risk of position liquidation in the majority of issues is very high now. LOCAL DEBT MARKET Despite the fact that rumors concerning Guta Bank’s problems have circulated in the market for quite a long time, formal suspension of work of one of the 30 largest Russian banks became a blow for the market. Yesterday, the market took it rather calmly, as selling was observed, but there was no mass position closing. However, the mood of investors has obviously worsened today, as slight panic is seen in the market. Evidently, only a very limited range of people have the information, to what extent the situation is really grave in the banking sphere, while the overwhelming majority of investors are subject to panic mood and rumors. It should be noted that only several banks comprising the 30 largest Russian banks are truly commercial banks, while the rest are to a different extent affiliated with the State or with the non-residents of Russia. Judging by the plummeting bank Eurobonds and total absence of buyers, the main investors’ question now is whether commercial banks will be able to survive in the crisis. What concerns ruble bonds, the main investors in the non-government bond market remain commercial banks. At the moment, there are few those willing to risk and buy the bonds that may collapse in case of possible position liquidation by banks. While earlier, that was true in respect to mainly the second- and third-tier issues, now it may apply to the first tier, too. In the current situation, it is hardly possible to speak of taking any long positions. Investments in ruble bonds look quite risky now.
July 06, 2004
B&N Bank Russian Debt Market Daily: The market opened rather optimistically today
Description
EXTERNAL DEBT MARKET The global bond market was inactive yesterday due to the holiday (Independence Day) in the US. In the Russian Eurobond segment, there were several deals yesterday in the Russia-30 at 93.000 in the first half of the day. The market opened rather optimistically today. Despite insignificant yield increase of US Treasuries this morning, Russian Eurobonds opened higher 0.25-0.375%. The Russia-30 rose to 93.250- 93.375, while the Aries-14 increased to 103.375. The yield degrease trend in the global financial market may continue in the near term, as the US labor market data published on Friday sharply decrease the probability of an interest rate hike by the Fed at it next meeting in early August. In this situation, investor demand for emerging market bonds is to increase, and we suppose that the spread of Russian Eurobonds to US Treasuries is to narrow.. As the main trade idea, we offer direct buying of the Aries-14, as well as buying the Aries-14 while simultaneously shorting the Russia-30. We expect the spread between these two bonds to narrow to 100 bp in the course of 3-5 weeks from 150 bp now, and expect it to reach 50 bp in 2-3 months. LOCAL DEBT MARKET The most liquid OFZs closed yesterday down 0.1-0.15% on persisting low turnover. The yield curve of long issues remains at 7.1-8.1%. The Ministry of Finance plans to re-open the OFZ 45001 issue for RUR 6 bn tomorrow, which is hard to do without help from friendly government banks. Most Moscow municipals declined 0.1-0.2%, while the best performer was the 32nd issue that has been the most liquid one recently. Non-aggressive selling prevailed in the first tier, while other corporates changed as a result of sporadic deals. Apparently, tension in the banking sphere that already seemed to have to do with the second- and third-tier banks, is still not weakening among major banks. Large banks are not having problems with rubles, but rumors and continual announcements from major banks that everything is all right exactly with them, do not add certainty to the market. This does not cause position liquidation in first-tier corporates, but limits to a considerable extent investments in long bonds, whose liquidity, as evident from recent experience, may disappear instantly. At the same time, nonmajor investors, even those who do not experience problems with rubles, continue cutting positions in the second- and third-tier corporates, where the yields are still unable to compensate for liquidity and credit risks.
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