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Serbia will borrow $3 billion from international lenders in 2013 via Eurobonds and a $1 billion direct loan from Russia, out of a total of EUR4.5 billion in domestic and international bonds and loans this year, Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Serbia could also tap the Russian market with a new $250 million bond issue this year, on top of the loan from Moscow.
Serbia is looking to take advantage of a surge in investor appetite for emerging market bonds that has seen rates drop. "The interest rate for a 10-year Eurobond for Serbia was 7.25 a year ago and now it's 4.8. It's a tremendous decrease in only one year thanks to the fiscal consolidation programme and also because of the policies of the ECB and Federal Reserve," Dinkic told a conference. "We simply expect that this will continue to go down."
Serbia will offer a new 7-year Eurobond issue very soon, Dinkic said, adding a new 10-year Eurobond issue would follow later. The rest of the borrowing should be secured locally.
He said the country would not seek a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but planned to restart talks with the IMF in the next few months about precautionary lending arrangements. "We can finance ourselves from the market, we don't need additional money for foreign currency reserves, for the current account deficit financing," Dinkic said.
The IMF froze a 1 billion euro standby deal last year due to over-spending. Dinkic said he saw no obstacles in the upcoming talks with the IMF, adding fiscal consolidation was underway with the government planning to cut the deficit to 1.0% in 2015.
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