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Serbia Plans $2 Billion Eurobond in 2013, Draft Budget Shows

Serbia plans to sell $2 billion worth of Eurobonds in 2013, securing a third of what it needs to finance the budget deficit and service debts next year, according to the draft budget.

Next year’s budget sees revenue at 956.4 billion dinars ($10.92 billion) and spending at 1.07 trillion dinars, the draft budget posted on Parliament’s website shows. Total borrowing needs were set at 554.4 billion dinars, including 188.4 billion dinars in Eurobond sales, 265 billion dinars in domestic market borrowing and 101.04 billion dinars in credits from international financial institutions.

Serbia needs cash to close a 121.8 billion-dinar budget deficit next year, which will account for 3.6 percent of gross domestic product. This year’s deficit will be equivalent to 6.7 percent of GDP this year.

According to the 2013 repayment schedule, Serbia needs 92.5 billion dinars to pay back interest and principal to foreign lenders.

The government also plans to issue sovereign guarantees next year equivalent to $6.3 billion for new sovereign borrowing and project financing, the draft shows.

Serbia needs to convince the International Monetary Fund that its 2013 budget plan is consistent with a commitment to consolidate public finances in the medium term and balance the budget by 2016.

An IMF mission is due to arrive in Belgrade on Nov. 13 to start talks on a new loan deal and return in January or February after evaluating structural reforms and measures designed to stabilize public finances.

The Washington-based lender suspended a $1.3 billion loan with Serbia in February after the government slipped on agreed debt and deficit targets ahead of May 6 general elections. An IMF loan deal would help Serbia lower the cost of borrowing.

The government last tapped international lenders in September with a $1 billion Eurobond at a cost of 6.625 percent. The Finance Ministry plans another Eurobond this month, worth $500 million, and hopes for a yield of below 6 percent.

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