Azerbaijan to set up talks on issue of euro-bonds Minister for Economic development
Azerbaijan plans to start talks on a debut eurobond issue this autumn, but first needs to secure a second sovereign rating, which it hopes to get from Moody's, Trend quoted the country's economic development minister, Heydar Babayev, as stating in an interview for Reuters.
Azerbaijan, an oil-producing, mainly Muslim country that borders Russia, Iran and Turkey, already has a long-term foreign currency rating of BB from Fitch Ratings.
Moody's Investors Service is due to visit the Azeri capital Baku next month, Heydar Babayev told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). "For eurobonds, we need a second rating. Now Moody's are coming and they will start the process," he said, adding that the process could be complete by the time businesses return from their summer holidays.
"I hope that already this autumn we can start talks about issuing eurobonds," he said.
Last October, Babayev said Azerbaijan planned a debut eurobond issue of $250-500 million in 2006. But on Sunday he said the country had yet to agree on any specific sum.
Babayev said Citigroup had been advising Azerbaijan on the issue, and that over 20 banks had expressed interest in it. Along with this company 20 banks more, including Deutsche Bank, Commerz Bank, BNP Paribas, voiced their interests in it.
He forecast that Azerbaijan's gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by "no less than" 30 percent this year.