LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Selling of Russian debt intensified on Tuesday with issues from names such as Gazprom and Norilsk Nickel plumbing record lows, while the cost of insuring exposure to Russian debt jumped to an eight-month high in the wake of U.S. sanctions.
Washington moved on Friday to impose major sanctions against Russian businessmen and their companies to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other “malign activity”.
“It seems as if markets were taken a bit by surprise by the scope and the size of the sanctions,” said Per Hammarlund, chief emerging markets strategist at SEB. “People are reassessing their unquestioned positive attitude to Russia.”
Russia’s 2043 sovereign dollar bond fell 4 cents to around 105.6 cents according to Tradeweb, while the June 2027 eurobond was down 2.5 cents to 94.9 cents, a record low.
The average bond yield spread of Russian sovereign bonds over safe haven U.S. Treasuries on the JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified index jumped 26 basis points (bps) to 236 bps .
Corporate names also came under pressure, with Gazprom’s August 2037 dollar bond down over 5 cents to 109 cents, according to Tradeweb, while Norilsk Nickel’s September 2024 issue fell 1.3 cents to 93.3 cents. Both were at record lows.
Russia five-year credit default swaps rose 20 bps from Monday’s close to 158 bps, according to IHS Markit data, their highest since early August. (Reporting by Claire Milhench Editing by Andrew Heavens)