Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Belarus’s $1 billion of bonds due 2015 rose the most in more than a month after the former Soviet republic secured a deal to buy Russian natural gas at lower prices, easing concern over its balance-of-payments crisis.
The yield on the 2015 notes dropped 85 basis points, or 0.85 percentage point, to 14.012 percent at 12:51 p.m. in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, the biggest daily fall since Oct. 19, Bloomberg data show. The dollar bonds due 2018 yielded 71 basis points less than on Nov. 25, at 12.574 percent.
“This is definitely related to the positive Russia news as the latter ensures that 2012 will look significantly better from a financing requirement perspective,” Ivan Tchakarov, chief economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow, said in an e-mailed research note today.
Belarus will pay $165.60 per 1,000 cubic meters for gas in 2012, compared with an average $279 the country paid in the third quarter, according to an agreement signed Nov. 25. OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, will buy the 50 percent of the Belarusian pipeline operator Beltransgaz it doesn’t already own for $2.5 billion as part of the deal. Belarus expects to receive the money from Gazprom in about two weeks, Belta reported today, citing the country’s State Property Committee.
The gas discount and funds from selling Beltransgaz are replenishing state coffers after the country’s widening current- account deficit eroded foreign reserves, forcing the ruble to be devalued by two-thirds since January and igniting fears the government wouldn’t be able to service its debt.
Three days before sealing the deal with Russia, President Aleksandr Lukashenko criticized the austerity measures proposed by his government earlier this month and demanded economic growth of at least 5 percent next year.
--Editors: Paul Abelsky, Hellmuth Tromm
To contact the reporters on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at firstname.lastname@example.org; Jack Jordan in Moscow at email@example.com
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