The FINANCIAL — Russia's plans to take out foreign loans may not be realized due to high oil prices and uncertainty about the government's budget deficit, a business paper reported on March 22.
Russia is scheduled to hold a road show of its Eurobond issue on April 21-22 in New York as the country is returning to world capital markets in the capacity of a sovereign borrower for the first time in the past twelve years to bridge budget holes, Kommersant said.
However, the Eurobond issue parameters are yet unknown as the Russian government's debates over Russia's budget and tax policy for the next three years leave the size of the budget deficit uncertain, while high oil prices have reduced the country's need for foreign borrowing to the minimum, the paper said.
"The news of the road show was announced by Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on March 12. He did not give any details, but said that net borrowings could reach a total of 1.5 trillion rubles ($50 billion) in 2010, both domestically and internationally," RIA Novosti informs.
The sum of 1.5 trillion rubles in borrowings is the maximum amount stipulated in the 2010 budget and includes 869 billion rubles ($29 billion) to be raised on the domestic market and $17.8 billion on international markets, the paper said.
Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin earlier said that Russia could issue both 30-year and 10-year bonds in April-May for both U.S. and European investors.
Russia's outstanding Eurobonds currently have record low yields, which make new Eurobond placements advantageous for Russia. However, Russia's Finance Ministry is in no hurry with the Eurobond issue as improvements in international commodity markets have reduced the need for such borrowing, Kommersant said.
"We can either have placements or avoid them," Pankin earlier said. "Russia has the reserve fund, the national wealth fund; it can borrow on the domestic market and resolve all the problems."
Russia's budget deficit is projected at 6.8% of GDP in 2010. However, the Finance Ministry made its projections proceeding from the oil price of $58 per barrel compared with its latest forecast of $65 per barrel and more.
Global oil prices are currently hovering above $80 per barrel.