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Sovereign bonds: Early issuers beat contagion fear

Pre-emptive issuance proves smart strategy; Improving economic fundamentals attract strong investor bid

Quickfire Eurobond issuance by emerging European sovereigns in the first two months of the year has paid off handsomely, with governments securing vital funding ahead of rising concerns about the fiscal problems faced by Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

By issuing early and in size when market sentiment was running strong, a number of countries have now effectively achieved their 2010 overseas bond-funding targets, enabling them to pick and choose whether they venture back into the markets later in the year.

"The issuers that decided to come to market at the start
of the year will definitely be pleased with their choice"

Mike Elliff, RBS

"Issuing early and in size was absolutely the right strategy for central and eastern European sovereigns at the start of the year," says Mike Elliff, managing director, debt capital markets, at RBS in London. "The issuers that decided to come to market at the start of the year will definitely be pleased with their choice." Turkey started the ball rolling in January with a $2 billion 6.75 % 2040 issue via HSBC, JPMorgan and UBS.

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