The market in rouble-denominated debt sprang to life on Thursday as two more bond deals were announced after the setting up of a system to help pay off investors in the event of economic or political problems inside Russia.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the Nordic Investment Bank both raised Rbs2bn ($75m) in four and five-year bonds respectively.

Although the sums are small, the move is significant as it is another sign that the fledgling Russian eurobond market – any bond issued in roubles from a foreign entity – may be about to take off. Analysts predict the market could grow to $3bn by the end of the year.

Last week KfW, the German development bank, issued a Rbs2bn bond, carrying a five-year maturity as it tapped investors’ hunger for Russian assets, which offer higher yields than west European assets.

The sudden activity in the Russian eurobond market follows the establishment last week of a clearing system to provide investors with a formal process to
settle debts in the event of trouble. RBC Capital Markets was the lead manager for the EBRD and NIB, which are triple-A rated by the main agencies.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, the US-Norwegian cruise company, priced a €1bn bond to refinance loans backing its €700m takeover of Pullmantur, a Spanish cruise and tour operator. The seven-year bond was priced to yield 145 basis points over mid-swaps after it was heavily subscribed.

Goldman Sachs is the main bookrunner. Citigroup, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were also involved.

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