Romania to Start Investor Meetings Feb. 11 for Dollar Bond Sale

Romania will hold meetings with investors starting next week for a potential dollar-denominated bond sale, said Diana Popescu, who heads the Finance Ministry’s treasury department.

The eastern European country selected Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc to arrange the meetings with investors in Europe and the U.S. as it seeks to find buyers for its first international bond issue this year, Popescu said in a phone interview today.

“We’re starting the roadshow on Monday, Feb. 11, in New York, Boston and London, and we might issue a potential dollar bond depending on market conditions,” Popescu said.

Romania plans to raise 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) through bond sales on the international markets this year to help it refinance maturing government debt and cover a budget deficit estimated at about 2.1 percent of the gross domestic product. The country has tapped international markets four times last year for $2.25 billion in dollar bonds and 2.25 billion euros in Eurobonds.

Yields on existing dollar-denominated bonds due 2022 declined nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage points, to 4.326 percent.

The Bucharest-based ministry has raised a record monthly amount of debt from the local markets in January as investors’ appetite for the country’s debt was boosted by the JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s announcement to include Romanian local currency bonds into its emerging-market government bond index from March.

JPMorgan Index

The ministry raised about 11.4 billion lei ($3.5 billion) and 502.5 million euros from the domestic market last month, according to Bloomberg calculations.

The inclusion on Romania’s bonds into the JPMorgan index would be phased in over a three-month period ending May 1, the bank said on Jan. 15. The weighting on completion is estimated at 0.54 percent of the GBI-EM Global Diversified Index.

This will “indirectly” help the country’s international issuance, Deputy Finance Minister Enache Jiru said on Jan. 15.

The ministry plans to tap international markets through its 7 billion-euro medium-term notes program, whose size will increase and which will be extended to 2015 from 2013, the ministry said in a December statement.

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