Russia: Denholm Hall gets Sharpe with rouble debt
George Nianias talks to Guy Norton about the challenges of unearthing corporate debt opportunities in the far-flung reaches of Russia.
"As a smart lender we only take on smart borrowers"
IN THE WAKE of 1998’s financial melt down in Russia there are still investors for whom the thought of exposure to Russian gas company Gazprom in even dollar Eurobond format induces a cold sweat. Even the comfort factor of Gazprom’s investment grade ratings, the tried-and-tested legislation governing Euromarket issuance and the fact that the company is effectively an extension of the again mighty Russian state would still cause them palpitations. So the thought of rouble-denominated credit exposure to an unrated hospital development in Kaliningrad seeking import finance would in all likelihood have an even worse effect. Ironically, though, buying into the deal for the medical centre in the Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland that was once the capital of East Prussia is a less risky proposition, according to Sharpe ratios.