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Crowd awaiting Naftogaz default: “Western lenders,” “international investors,” “Western bondholders,” “debtholders,” “creditors,” and “financiers.” Their law firm Dechert advised them to reject Ukraine’s offer-Wall St. Journal, Reuters

July 28, 2022

“”...international investors voted against a proposal to delay payments by two years. Why are none of these investors named, but a law firm [Dechert LLP] that recommended they vote down the delay in payments is named?” commenter….Reuters: “Creditors of Ukraine’s state-owned energy firm Naftogaz have been urged to reject the company’s request this week for a two-year debt payment freeze…in a call organised by London-based legal firm Dechert, which has been appointed by creditors….Many of the Naftogaz bondholders also lent money to the government,”

7/26/22,Ukraine’s State Energy Firm Nears Default After Failure to Pay Bondholders, Wall St. Journal, Caitlin Ostroff, Joe Wallace

“Kyiv vetoes payout after Naftogaz bondholders reject request to delay payments.”

“Ukraine’s NJSC Naftogaz said it was near default after the government rejected its request

to make payments to Western lenders.

The state energy company had sought the government’s approval to repay a $335 million bond that matured last week

after international investors

voted against a proposal to delay payments by two years. The five-business-day grace period for making the payment elapses Tuesday.

Defaulting would complicate the operations of a company playing a pivotal role in Ukraine’s wartime economy, producing gas and oil and subsidizing fuel for swaths of the population. Naftogaz is also overseeing an uneasy arrangement under which Moscow pays Kyiv to transit billions of cubic meters of natural gas through Ukrainian pipes to Europe.

Naftogaz’s failure to pay

Western investors

has heightened

concerns

about the health of Ukraine’s public finances.

Default would also allow

holders of another Naftogaz bond

with payments due later this year

to accelerate repayment,

adding to financial pressure on the company.

[Unnamed person in] Kyiv separately asked

Western bondholders

to grant payment delays on sovereign bonds last week,

a proposal expected to pass

after the U.S., U.K.

and other governments

urged investors

to cut Ukraine some financial slack.

The Ukrainian government is pursuing a balancing act between

maintaining the trust of

Western financiers

and funneling funds toward fighting the war.

Naftogaz’s last-minute request for a deferral

rankled some Western investors.

The company had previously indicated it would meet payments, but said

an order from [an unnamed person in] Kyiv

to sock 19 billion cubic meters of gas into storage

by the winter

blindsided it

and would tie up billions of dollars in cash.

Naftogaz Chief Executive Yuriy Vitrenko had

campaigned to convince

[unnamed] bondholders

over the past week,

hitting the phones to win their support.

The $335 million note

was one of three

on which the company asked to delay interest payments and repayments.

The euro- and dollar-denominated

bonds added up to more than $1.4 billion.

Some bondholders

were bothered by the mixed messages from Naftogaz

and questioned

whether Ukraine needed to stash so much gas

when would-be consumers had fled to neighboring countries.

Naftogaz’s proposed deferral

needed the approval of

at least 75% of debtholders

voting on each of the bonds.

Some investors

sought advice from law firm

Dechert LLP,

which encouraged bondholders to vote the proposals down.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Ukraine’s credit rating to C from CCC on Monday, indicating that the country is near default. It cited the requested extension on debt payments and noted that it expected the country would need to restructure its debt in the future due to the war.

Fitch recently also cut Naftogaz’s credit rating to C, following its proposals.”

…………………………………

Added: 7/14/22, Reuters, G7 wealthy democracies have pledged some $20 billion in support to keep Ukraine’s government operating over the next few months.”…”IMF says it expects Ukraine to keep paying debt despite default speculation,” Rodrigo Campos, David Lawder

………………………………………

7/14/22, Reuters, London:Creditors of Ukraine’s state-owned energy firm Naftogaz have been urged to reject the company’s request this week for a two-year debt payment freeze….

In a call organised by London-based legal firm Dechert,

which has been appointed by creditors,

advisors said they did not think the company was facing an immediate cash crunch and was viewed as a profitable going concern.

As a result, they would demand full repayment of one of the firm’s bonds which is due next week, along with an additional ‘coupon’ interest payment

on another bond that runs until 2024.

“The advice is to vote this down,”

one investor on the call said….

Naftogaz is a major source of income for Ukraine, accounting for almost 17% of the country’s total state budget revenue last year and

employing more than 50,000 people before the war.

Its underground storage facilities hold over 30 billion cubic metres of gas,

making them the third largest in the world

after the United States and Russia.

It also has Europe’s second largest

oil transportation pipeline network.

The company’s request on Monday caught many creditors off guard, coming with little over a week to go before a $335 million bond is due to pay out on July 19.

It has also raised expectations that Ukraine’s government may look to do something similar itself ahead of a near

$1 billion sovereign bond payment

due in September.

Kyiv has so far said that it intends to make that payment but

many of the

Naftogaz bondholders

also lent money to the government,

meaning that sentiment could suffer.

The International Monetary Fund, which the country relies on heavily for support, said on Thursday that it expects Kyiv to continue paying its debt.”…”Ukraine’s Naftogaz bondholders urged to reject debt freeze plan,” by Mac Jones

……………………….

7/26/22, Ukranews.com: “In November 2019, the Naftogaz of Ukraine national joint-stock company placed 7-year Eurobonds in the amount of USD 500 million with a rate of 7.625% per annum.

Also in July 2019, Naftogaz placed 5-year Eurobonds for EUR 600 million at an annual rate of 7.125% and 3-year Eurobonds for USD 335 million at an annual rate of 7.375%.

The Kondor Finance company is engaged in the issue of Naftogaz Eurobonds.”…”Government Defaults On Naftogaz Eurobonds”

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One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .

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