Alexander Geda, Counsel and Head of Finance Practice at Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners law firm (RGD), was asked to contribute to a Kommersant article. The article focuses on Russian replacement bonds, which offer high yields but are not prone to infrastructural risks.
In March 2022, Euroclear and Clearstream clearing systems suspended the provision of services to National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central depository. This suspension deprived Russian investors of the opportunity to receive payments on Eurobonds. The coupon and redemption amounts due accrued on frozen accounts in Euroclear and Clearstream.
In the summer of 2022, the Russian government decided not to wait for foreign regulators and allowed the direct payment of Eurobond yields to local investors. Presidential Decree No. 430 dated July 5, 2022, gave Russian companies the opportunity to respect the interests of local investors. Under this decree, Eurobond issuers could either make separate payments, including direct payments in rubles, to Russian investors, or issue local bonds to be exchanged for Eurobonds.
Alexander Geda commented on the terms of the bond replacement and associated risks. According to the author of the article, since the release of assets is outside the Russian jurisdiction, it took market professionals a long time to work out a solution.
In August 2022, RGD announced that it started an effort to return the funds and foreign securities blocked by Euroclear to Russian and foreign investors. The purpose was not only to return accrued coupons and dividends on the securities, but also to ensure that the owners could freely use the securities and receive payments in the future.
Go to Kommersant’s website to read the full version.
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