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Romania’s educated gamble

Romania is not planning to over-compensate for scarcity by issuing heavily. But it is clearly keen to establish itself in the international debt markets.

Cristian Popa

Talk to any Romanian banker about the country's international debt, and the Wrst thing you will hear is that Romania has never defaulted. As Cristian Popa, National Bank of Romania's deputy governor says: "We have paid everything and on time. And we make a principle of saying that time and again." It's being repeated even more often these days, since rumours began circulating in March that Romania is planning to tap the market within the next few weeks with its longest-dated Eurobond deal yet - possibly between seven and 10 years. Those touted as having a good chance of winning the mandate include Salomon Smith Barney, JP Morgan Chase, and ING Barings.

London-based investment bankers have been paying a lot of visits to Romania in recent weeks while remaining reluctant to discuss the deal.

A lot has changed in a year.

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