Iran is bullish on planned eurobond
By GUY DINMORE
July 13, 2000,
Tehran -- Iran expects a good reception for its planned eurobond issue,
its first foray into international capital markets since the 1979 Islamic
revolution, Mohsen Nourbaksh, governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI),
Mr Nourbaksh told the Financial Times that the CBI planned to issue
the eurobond, in the region of Euros 300m-Euros 500m (Dollars 285m-Dollars
475m) for a three or five-year term, this year. Foreign bankers in Tehran
said Commerzbank and Paribas were likely to manage the offering.
Bankers said Iran was disappointed with the B2 credit rating it received
from Moody's a year ago. They said higher oil revenues and a more stable
political situation were likely to assure a good reception for the eurobond,
provided it was priced correctly. They said Iran did not need the money
and was more interested in seeking an international benchmark.
Mr Nourbaksh said the eurobond would be followed by other longer-term
issues as the market gained confidence in Iran's prospects. Iran's debt
obligations this year of Dollars 10.3bn are its lowest for nearly a decade.
For the first time, Iran has established a "stabilisation fund"
for above-budget oil revenues. The price of oil was budgeted this year
at Dollars 14.50 a barrel, compared with current prices for Iranian crude
of about Dollars 26.
"This gives us a better position financially. This is evidence
that gives more confidence to the market. Fortunately we are in a very
solid position," Mr Nourbaksh said.