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Russia RBC in “default on 1.5 billion rbl bond”

Posted on: March 25, 2009


Reuters – Wednesday, March 25

MOSCOW, March 24 – Russia’s indebted financial news provider RBC <RBCI.MM> has not paid a 1.5 billion rouble bond <RU0A0JPPA1=MM> maturing on Tuesday, nor the coupon on the paper, its payment agent said.

“We have not received the money from the company. But we received a notification that the issuer will not be able to fulfil the obligation due to unfavourable market conditions,” a representative of the National Depositary Centre told Reuters.

Russian companies have struggled to refinance debts as the credit crunch has dried up funding sources at home and abroad.

RBC, whose debts are estimated at over $200 million, has been looking for a strategic investor since last summer.

VTB Capital said in a research note on Tuesday that RBC would “unlikely to be able to pay debt without external help and the company is seeking debt restructuring schemes”.

Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia’s richest man, has offered to bail out RBC, investment bank Renaissance Capital said on Monday, boosting RBC’s stock over 30 percent [ID:nLO266707].

The shares rallied further on Tuesday to a three-month high of 20.48 roubles, before sharply paring gains to close just 1 percent up on the day 16.76.

Investors have 30 days to make a decision on Prokhorov’s offer.

(Reporting by Yelena Fabrichnaya, writing by Toni Vorobyova, editing by Will Waterman)

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