Georgia: Sovereign makes impressive Eurobond debut
Thanks to its growing reputation as one of the most business-friendly countries in the former USSR, the Republic of Georgia has established a strong investor following with its first ever Eurobond. Lead managers JPMorgan and UBS reported that the $500 million five-year maiden issue in April was more than three times oversubscribed, enabling them to price it at the tight end of the 7.5% to 7.75% range.
"The deal had real scarcity value and a benchmark status debut which provided a strong incentive for investors to participate," says Stefan Weiler, executive director at JPMorgan in London. He adds that as the first sovereign bond from the Caucasus region the issue was a welcome diversification play and at $500 million it is also eligible for inclusion in the widely followed JPMorgan EMBI emerging market bond indices.
A real hit
Igor Hordiyevych, managing director at UBS in London, says that the Georgian delegation headed by prime minister Lado Gurgenidze proved a real hit with investors, achieving a near 100% order conversion rate from their one-on-one meetings with potential buyers in Europe.