January 30, 2020 / 1:02 PM / in a month

Russia eyes euro-denominated sovereign Eurobond in Q1 - source

MOSCOW, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Russia is considering issuing a Eurobond denominated in euros in the first quarter of the year, a source familiar with the finance ministry’s plans said.

Russian debt is popular among foreign investors, who held more than 54% of its sovereign Eurobonds as of the end of 2019. But Russia needs to rethink its global borrowing plans after another round of U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow last year.

The source, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the clearing firm Euroclear has confirmed that there will be no problem this year with issuing a Eurobond in the single European currency despite U.S. sanctions.

The finance ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

In late December, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia may issue a Eurobond in 2020 that will be denominated in a currency other than the U.S. dollar.

The United States in August banned U.S. banks from buying sovereign Eurobonds directly from Russia to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain. Moscow has denied any wrongdoing.

In September 2019, after the sanctions were imposed, the finance ministry said Russia was likely to keep its external borrowing plan for 2020 at $3 billion, the same level as in 2019. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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