LONDON (Reuters) - Selling of Russian debt intensified on Tuesday with issues from names such as Gazprom and NLMK falling, 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 US78307ADH32=TE fell 4 cents to around 105.6 cents according to Tradeweb, while the June 2027 eurobond RU000A0JXTS9=TE was down 2.5 cents to 94.9 cents.
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 .JPMEGDRUSR.
Corporate names also came under pressure, with Gazprom’s August 2037 dollar bond US368266AH50=TE down over 5 cents to 109 cents, according to Tradeweb, while NLMK’s September 2024 issue fell 1.3 cents to 93.3 cents.
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.
(This version of the story corrects to read NLMK (not Norilsk Nickel) in paragraph 1 and to delete reference to record lows.)
Reporting by Claire Milhench; editing by Andrew Heavens