Bankers said the bloated order book for Hungarys deal in particular was prompted by a combination of a dramatic drop in supply from central and eastern Europe and persistent demand.
On the supply side, issuance from Russia which last year accounted for more than 40% of total bond volumes from CEE dried up as spreads on its 10-year government bonds widened by as much as 80 basis points. In the first three weeks of March, Azerbaijan and Hungary were the only deals to emerge from the region.
Meanwhile, demand remained strong. Retail emerging market funds experienced some outflows in response to the Ukrainian crisis, but Nick Darrant, head of CEEMEA syndicate at BNP Paribas, said institutional investors had proved much less risk averse.
Nick Samara, an emerging markets banker at Citi, agreed. "There is a lot of cash out there that would likely normally have been put to work in Russian assets and it has to go somewhere," he said. "As we saw with the Hungary and Azerbaijan deals, for the right name particularly with a dynamic growth story at the right price there is a huge amount of latent demand."
Fabianna del Canto, managing director, European syndicate, at Barclays, notes that rarity value had also boosted the deals appeal. As well as being the first Eurobond debut from a CEE sovereign since Albania in 2010, it was also the first from any investment-grade sovereign since South Korea in 1998.
Scarcity is also expected to work in favour of Bulgaria, which in mid-March mandated banks for its first sovereign Eurobond in nearly two years.