EIB plans debut Romanian Leu bond - puts spotlight on market development

Publish date: 14-03-2007
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The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Bank promoting European objectives - owned by EU Member States, plans to launch its first bond issue in Romanian Leu (RON) in the Romanian domestic market. The bond will be a rarity for the domestic market in offering a benchmark-sized issue from a Triple-A rated issuer. The bond is also expected to offer innovation in terms of maturity. The 'domestic' format of the bond means it would be listed in Romania and issued under local law and clearing systems, enhancing accessibility for domestic investors.

The planned issue in RON is intended to offer investors a new top quality liquid complement to Romanian government bonds and to add a new point on the benchmark yield curve.  The planned issue would constitute a significant source of diversification in a market where the Government has been the largest player. The subscription period is expected to begin in April 2007. The Issue will be open to both institutional and retail investors. A preliminary offering prospectus is now available from ABN AMRO (Romania) and from EIB via its website www.eib.org/investor_info.

This planned bond issue extends EIB's strong track record in contributing to the development of markets in new EU Member States and potential future member countries, with issuance in 8 such currencies (Bulgarian leva, Czech koruna, Hungarian forint, Maltese liri, Polish zloty, Slovenian tolar, Slovak koruna and Turkish lira) in the past five years. The Bank has not only assisted capital market evolution but also, where possible and appropriate, supported EIB's local currency lending activities in these markets.

The planned issue in RON helps to pave the way for future EIB lending in RON. The Bank has been one of the largest external lenders in Romania in recent years, lending EUR 4.9bn since 1993, for projects in the following public sectors: roads, motorways, energy, water/wastewater, health and education as well as private sector investments. Among other projects, the Bank has recently financed the construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Bucharest and the motorway connection Bucharest Constanta.

The EIB has the highest issuer credit rating of Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody's/Standard & Poors/Fitch). The Bank is the world's largest supranational borrower and lender, and is one of the largest and most frequent borrowers in the international capital markets. In 2006 it issued a total of EUR 48bn in 24 currencies.

EIB's Barbara Bargagli-Petrucci, Director, Head of the Capital Markets Department, said:
"We believe that EIB bonds can make a valuable addition to the Romanian bond market, complementing government bonds and offering domestic investors an attractive means of diversification based on the Bank's top quality credit standing."

Peter Weiss, president of ABN AMRO Bank (Romania) S.A., said:

"We are very pleased that further to our successful cooperation with the EIB in pricing a Turkish euro bond, we are now able to offer in Romania an EIB issue in local currency. This issue reflects continued confidence in the Romanian capital markets and we believe the issue to be very attractive for investors in search for high quality longer-term investments. ABN AMRO is honored to bring EIB to the market with this debut RON issue, following the recent establishment of ABN AMRO Securities."

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