LONDON, Sept 1 (IFR) – Norilsk Nickel is set to receive a warm reception from investors this month as it begins meetings ahead of potentially the first benchmark-sized deal from Russia in nearly a year.
The Russian mining company, rated BBB- by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, is due to go on a roadshow in early September to update investors on its recent performance and strategy.
The company does not have any immediate funding needs, but “continues to see international capital markets as an important part of its funding mix and will remain opportunistic”, according to a statement released on Friday.
One source said last week that the firm could seek to raise about US$500m from a new deal, if interest is big and markets supportive. That would be the biggest deal from a Russian issuer since Gazprom sold a US$700m one-year bond last November.
While Norilsk Nickel has plenty of cash on its balance sheet, Sberbank analysts said the company has US$1.3bn in short term debt and expected high payments to equity holders. “It may look to refinance via capital markets,” said the Russian bank in the research note.
If investors’ initial reaction to the roadshow is anything to go by, Norilsk may find the time is right to raise debt.
“If anyone in Russia can print at the moment, it’s Norilsk Nickel,” said a London-based investor due to meet with the company next week.
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