Caderus in Media

Andrei Akopian, managing partner at Caderus Capital, a top Russian fund and boutique investment bank, said 6 billion yuan would be the biggest sovereign issue, topping Britain’s 3 billion yuan issue.


 “I think it is realistic,” he said. “This amount will easily be distributed between ICBC, Bank of China and Gazprombank. “The government is targeting Chinese investors. The preference is Chinese investment banks. ICBC and Bank of China have contributed a lot to the whole process. So they are the natural first choice.”


Akopian was present in early stage roadshows in China organised with the Moscow city government and Moscow Exchange – whose National Settlement Depository arm is developing a bond connect programme with the PBOC’s China Central Depository and Clearing Company this year that will aide future bond distributions.


He said Chinese investors at the events were keen on the prospects of higher returns from the bonds as domestic yields had been damped by successive PBOC rate cuts. Two-year mainland government bonds currently yield only 2.9 per cent, versus Russia’s benchmark lending rate at 11 per cent. But they also have questions.


“The liquidity situation changes a lot,” Akopian said. “Right now, there is a lot of dollar liquidity in Russia. It may change very quickly. The key provider of liquidity right now is the Russian central bank. They may stop providing liquidity anytime. They started providing this when crisis hit hard in December 2014 currency crisis when the rouble collapsed.


“There’s also the question of the cost of trading on the Moscow Exchange,” Akopian said. “Moscow Exchange needs to work on streamlining the process for Chinese investors to get access. And they are willing to do it.


“All Russian blue chips – they all want Chinese companies to know them. They are all trying to solve this problem. One of the very efficient ways to let Chinese investors know them is to issue a Baikalbond (a yuan bond issued in Russia) – because in this way, you get direct access to investors. And you get airtime and recognition. And after that they can look at your stocks.”