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14 Feb  2019 1397

High expectations: Uzbekistan debuts on world bond market

Today in London Uzbekistan is going to place for sale first $1bln eurobond in five-years and 10-years obligations. JPMorgan, Citi and Gazprombank are handling the transaction. World leading media, including Reuters, Bloomberg and Financial Times explained why Uzbekistan debut on world bond market is a promising step for economy.

According to Reuters, fund managers were positive about Uzbekistan’s credit, citing the diversified commodity set-up: the country is rich in natural resources such as gas, gold and other metals but is also one of the world’s leading exporters of cotton.  “It is a good, consistent story, they have the demographics, they are very reform-minded,” Reuters cites one of the fund manager attending the meetings. “They actually don’t need the financing - but they need to set a benchmark for corporate issuance.”

Bloomberg quotes Anders Faergemann, a fund manager at PineBridge Investments in London, which has $90 billion in assets: “ The sale by the natural gas, gold and cotton exporter is a positive, transition story. We were impressed with the presentation and the marketing of the credit, backed by what seems to be very strong fundamentals.”

The Financial Times estimated the investors’ demand for Uzbekistan bonds at the $6bn mark. It quotes Gregory Smith, a fixed-income strategist at Renaissance Capital. “Issuing a eurobond is part of Uzbekistan’s re-engagement with the world and quest to encourage more foreign direct investment. A eurobond issue would help create a path to the markets for Uzbek corporates and quasi-sovereigns and give investors an anchor for assessment of country risk.”

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