August 27, 2015 / 10:00 AM / in 3 years

Russia's Norilsk Nickel hires banks for Eurobond

LONDON, Aug 27 (IFR) - Russia’s Norilsk Nickel has hired five banks to arrange a Eurobond, according to two sources.

The nickel and palladium company, rated BBB- by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, is considering a deal of around US$500m and could come as soon as September, according to one of the sources.

This will be the first benchmark-sized bond from a Russian issuer this year, as first sanctions, and then low oil prices, have kept Russian names out of the international bond markets.

Norilsk Nickel is not under financial sanctions from the West.

The only other deal to come from Russia this year was a US$350m three-year deal for Kazan-headquartered Ak Bars bank.

At US$500m, this would be Norilsk’s smallest international bond to date, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The issuer’s last forays into the bond market were for a US$1bn 5.55% 2020 bond and a US$750m 4.375% 2018 deal, both printed in 2013.

“The majority of investors would look at unsanctioned Russian companies,” said a syndicate banker. “But how many would actually invest? It remains to be seen.”

Norilsk Nickel could not be reached for comment. (Reporting by Michael Turner; editing by Sudip Roy)

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