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Deals of the Year 2011: Russian Railways

Russian Railways
Value £350 million 20-year bond, £300 million tap
Bookrunners Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, VTB Capital
return to the Emerging Europe Deals of the Year index

Other notable CEE bond deals were few and far between last year, even before global conditions and an ill-timed $1 billion international debut from Serbia slammed markets shut in mid-September. Russian iron-ore producer Metalloinvest deserves a mention for a solid inaugural $750 million five-year transaction that attracted four times oversubscription against a difficult market backdrop in July, but the final place in the 2011 winners list goes to Russian Railways for reopening the sterling market to CEE investors with an unprecedented 20-year deal.

The quasi-sovereign borrower had already made a name for itself in the global bond markets with a heavily oversubscribed $1.5 billion debut in March 2010 but the choice of both currency and maturity was nevertheless a bold one, given the notoriously conservative nature of UK institutional investors and the fact that the only previous Russian forays into the market – by Gazprom and VTB – had been for much shorter-dated paper.

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