Hungary's Eximbank aims to raise $500 mln via USD bond-IFR

Wed Dec 5, 2012 2:16pm GMT

* 5-year USD-denominated bond guidance at 5.875 pct area -IFR

* Eximbank not immediately available for comment

* Deal may also test waters for sovereign issue -analyst

BUDAPEST, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Hungary's state-owned Magyar Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) plans to raise $500 million through a 5-year dollar bond in a deal to be priced on Wednesday, Thomson Reuters news and analysis service IFR said.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, IFR said guidance for the February 2018 bond was at the 5.875 percent area. The Reg S/144a issue - targeted at the international market - is being managed by Deutsche Bank and Jefferies.

A spokeswoman for Eximbank, which provides export financing and export guarantees for companies in the "junk"-rated central European country, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Analysts have said Hungary, which last tapped international bond markets in 2011, may be testing the waters as it prepares to come to market next year with a possible offering of its own.

"There is certainly some funding need for Exim(bank) but with a series of notes in the programme they can test the waters for the sovereign, raise money for themselves and also issue excess money in order to finance government," said analyst Peter Attard Montalto at Nomura International.

"It will be an important component in ensuring the government can be fully funded next year when combined with already high levels of deposits (financing buffers)," he said.

Hungary needs to refinance about $7.2 billion worth of bonds and $5.9 billion of IMF repayments next year, with almost half falling due in the first quarter, Reuters calculations based on data from debt agency AKK show.

The government's talks with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union have collapsed after over a year of on-off discussions, with no date set for the resumption of official meetings.

In the clearest signal yet that it does not expect an agreement with the IMF/EU, the government said last week it could tap international debt markets next year depending on market conditions.

It has been issuing forint-denominated government papers smoothly and the government also has significant financing buffers.

In another sign that Budapest is trying to explore alternative channels of financing, debt agency AKK said last week it has already sold over 100 million euros worth of a new euro-denominated bond offered primarily to ordinary Hungarians. (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)