Kiev, Ukraine. In moves making many western hedge fund managers uneasy, Ukraine’s finance minister has announced his intent to yet again issue euro bonds in the autumn of 2017, after having just issued more this past January.
Finance Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyliuk announced that Ukraine is preparing for the issuance of one billion dollars in Eurobonds in the fall of 2017. The proposal comes right on the heels of another offer this past January.
“The government plans to return to the international bond market after a long-term pension reform is adopted. I believe that there is already an appetite for our bonds in the market. But I believe that we should not be in a hurry,” said Danyliuk.
He also confirmed plans by the Cabinet to carry out land reform. It is here that Ukraine has a real credibility problem, having lied openly to the IMF about opening up land sales to international American giants like Cargill and Monsanto, Kiev withdrew the offer and then said only native Ukrainians could own land, according to Groysman.
The last issuance of Ukrainian Eurobonds was in April 2013, when Ukraine sold 10-year Eurobonds worth $1.25 billion at 7.5% per annum. In February 2013, the Ministry of Finance issued 10-year Eurobonds worth $1 billion at 7.625% per annum.
Since then, Ukraine has entered foreign lending markets four more times: in December 2013, Russia was sold Eurobonds worth $3 billion at a coupon rate of 5%; and in 2014-2016, Ukraine sold Eurobonds once per year under American guarantees. In 2014, five-year Eurobonds were deposited for $1 billion at 1.844% per annum; in 2015, for $1 billion at 1.847% per annum; and in 2016, for $1 billion at 1.471%.
On January 25, 2017, the Ukrainian company Kernel issued Eurobonds worth $500 million at a rate of 8.75%, becoming the first issuer from Ukraine to issue bonds since the Revolution of Dignity (except for bonds guaranteed by the U.S. government within the framework of financial assistance to Ukraine).
The really key takeaway is the “US guarantee.” America often guarantees the bonds will not lose so banks and institutional firms will buy them. America’s taxpayers are yet again responsible for the value of bonds in a nation not their own.