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MOSCOW, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The Russian arm of Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is battling for Eurobond mandates and has several deals lined up for next year, one of its senior bankers told Reuters.
Russia's Eurobond market has started to recover this year after Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict and poor market sentiment restricted new issues to just $3 billion in 2015.
This year, there have been around $15 billion of issues, including a $3 billion sovereign Eurobond.
"We're now actively fighting for new mandates, and there are already several deals in the works for the first half of 2017," said Oleg Gordienko, head of investment banking at Raiffeisenbank, RBI's Russian unit.
"But it's a difficult fight. Now it's a time for borrowers, and there is a very serious competitive struggle for quality clients," he said, adding Raiffeisenbank had arranged four Eurobond deals this year and was battling for Russian blue-chip firms as well as second-tier companies.
Raiffeisenbank did not arrange any Eurobond deals in 2014 or 2015.
Russian exporters with foreign-currency revenues including Gazprom have been most active on Eurobond markets, and Gordienko said volumes in general could be higher in 2017.
Oksana Panchenko, a Raiffeisenbank board member, told Reuters the bank's corporate loan book was stable at present but that next year it could grow. (Reporting by Alexander Winning and Kira Zavyalova; Editing by Mark Potter)