Oil and Gas

UPDATE 1-Russia's Gazprom redeeming samurai bonds in roubles will be seen as default - JBIC head

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TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) - Russia’s Gazprom will likely be considered defaulting on its debt if it redeems yen-denominated samurai bonds in roubles, Tadashi Maeda, governor of state-affiliated Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), said on Wednesday.

As of March 2021, JBIC offers guarantees to about 65 billion yen ($550 million) worth of yen-denominated samurai bonds, Maeda told parliament.

Gazprom raised those funds via a placement of 10-year bonds in December 2018, which marked the first time that the Russian gas company tapped the samurai bond market in more than a decade.

Repayment of the bonds in roubles was not stipulated in their original agreement, Maeda said, adding that JBIC would appropriately address the issue if it would come up.

“If I were to give my personal view at this stage, I think it would be a default,” he said, adding that the rouble was depreciating every day in the current situation.

Samurai bonds are yen-denominated bonds issued in the Tokyo bond market by foreign governments or companies.

$1 = 118.2600 yen Reporting by Leika Kihara and Daniel Leussink; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Louise Heavens