3rd March 2020
Ritz Carlton, Moscow



3rd March 2020

Chairperson’s opening remarks
Session ends: 09:00
Opening remarks from the Ministry of Economic Development
Session ends: 09:20
How are investors and bankers pricing Russian credit risk in the context of trade wars and a low-rate environment? How do international and local perspectives differ?
  • The search for yield: where does Russia sit in the global investor’s portfolio?
    • Does Russia’s country risk give it a defined edge over other EMs?
    • Are we seeing a rally in foreign investment in Russia?
  • Oil price, geopolitics and LIBOR as drivers of pricing: What is investor sentiment for Russian risk today?
  • Where are investors anticipating interests’ rates to head in 2020?
  • Do Russian investors favour Eurobond or Rouble issuances? To what degree are domestic investors looking abroad vs internally?
  • Is offshore capital being brought back home, and if so is it having an impact on liquidity and pricing?
  • What is the regulatory environment for Russia’s pension and life funds?
Session ends: 10:00
Following through on 2019’s successes: Where are the opportunities for CIS borrowers/issuers in 2020?
  • Where and how are CIS sovereigns, FIs and corporate accessing financing in 2020? Through what instruments?
  • Russian investors looking beyond RUB and international investors hunting for yield: What is driving demand for CIS paper? Where does it sit within managers’ portfolios? What do investors need to now?
  • What is the pipeline for issuance in the region? Who is next? What is the rating process?
  • Pricing, yield and tenor variances between states, banks, corporates: Which CIS issuers price tightest and why?
  • Local, regional and international lenders in CIS: How much local currency debt do CIS issuers have access to? How to work with local, regional and international partners to raise USD debt
Session ends: 10:40
Coffee and networking
Session ends: 11:10
Optimising capital structures and funding: How are Russia’s blue-chips meeting their funding needs in 2020?
  • Growth, CAPEX, liability management: What are Russia’s top tier companies’ fund raising needs?
  • International vs local: Which markets offer the most attractive rates and terms?
  • What is the business case for loans in today’s low yield-environment?
  • How are Russia’s corporates hedging interest and FX risk?
  • Are private/international banks able to provide finance at the same competitive rates as local state-owned banks? What advantages can they play on? Where can they compete?
Session ends: 11:50
Understanding the business case for syndicated loans in a low-rate environment
  • What is driving deal flow in the loans market? Why is there an increasing demand for loans when bonds are pricing so competitively?
  • Where are corporates finding value in loans? Who is looking to borrow, and what are their needs? Who are the most appropriate candidates?
  • How do bilateral loans compare to syndications currently?
  • Ironing out the kinks: how has Russian LMA developed in the last year? What has been the extent of its implementation? How does it compare to English law in appeal? What additions have been made to the legislative framework for loans in general?
  • What pricing are international and local banks providing? How does pricing and tenure compare to DCM?
Session ends: 12:30
The business case for Prepayment Finance: Advantages and disadvantages outlined
  • Understanding the market environment and challenges commodity exporters are facing to secure financing for operations
  • Is Prepayment Finance considered debt? How is Prepayment Finance being used as an accounting tool?
  • Structure of Prepayment Financing: How is risk spread in prepayment finance? Who bears the majority – the creditor, supplier, or the end-buyer?
  • Involvement of non-bank investors in Prepayment Finance
  • Pre-Export Finance and other Structured Trade Finance solutions vs. Prepayment finance: Assessing the pros and cons
Session ends: 13:10
Networking lunch
Session ends: 14:10
Unlocking ESG financing – is this the new untapped pool of liquidity that issuers/borrowers have been looking for?
  • Sustainable financing vs green, bonds vs loans: what are the different structures, who are the eligible candidates for each?
  • How are banks, investors and regulators supporting Russian borrowers and issuers in their journey to sustainability?
  • The right candidate: Do you need to be a green company to use ESG instruments?
  • Why should Russian companies enhance their ESG capabilities? How can they monetise sustainability to get better pricing?
  • Understanding international and local investor appetite: who is looking at ESG investments and to what degree?
    • What initiatives are the government and regulators introducing to promote this area of financing? What policies, benchmarks and structures are needed? What is the current gap between local and international regulation?
Session ends: 15:10
Should corporates be afraid of letting banks as mezzanine investors into equity?
  • Lack of investments in the market and sponsor capital and mezzanine capital as a substitute. Use of various instruments by Russian banks and investment companies.
  • Case study: mezzanine financing with quasi-equity cash upside instrument.
  • Case study: mezzanine financing of a large holding with lenders’ protections implemented by way of share retention agreements, corporate agreements and amendments shareholders agreement.
Session ends: 15:40
Decisions of debut debtors & emerging corporates: examining the experiences of first-time issuers
  • Why did the issuer opt to tap the capital markets rather than loan?
  • Why international or local, and why now?
    • How does the Eurobond market compare to local?
    • When is the right time to issue?
  • How are borrowers hedging their debt?
  • Lessons from the road: How was the desired pricing and subscription achieved?
  • What rating is needed, and from whom? What is the process for presenting to agencies?
  • Who are the potential future issuers? What lessons can they take away?
Session ends: 16:20
Where are the opportunities in Russia’s project finance landscape, and for whom? What is the role for commercial banks in the Project Finance Factory?
  • What are the objectives of the Project Finance Factory, and are they being achieved?
    • Case studies: Which projects have reached financial closure through the initiative? How were they structured? What was the experiences of the banks involved?
  • Does real project finance (non-recourse/limited recourse) exist in Russia? If full non-recourse is not possible, what are the means of mitigating project risks?
  • Is there long-term money at reasonable pricing available in the market for such projects?
  • How can the regulatory environment be improved to ensure the initiative’s success?
  • Diversifying the pool: What opportunity is there for private and international banks to participate? What is their appetite, and what are the challenges they see?
  • Who is missing from Public-Private Partnerships, and what steps can be taken to promote their involvement?
  • Project finance vs on-balance sheet funding: Pros and cons of each model. When is either more appropriate?
Session ends: 17:20
What is driving rouble bond issuance in Russia’s local markets?
  • How can we explain the steady flow of rouble issuances? What are local market conditions, what are the needs and policies of Russia’s corporates, and what is the match?
  • How did low rates in local bond yields influence financial strategy of the issuers? And how?
  • What are current issuances pricing at in yield and maturity?
  • Local pension funds and asset managers vs international investors – who are the biggest buyers of rouble bonds, and how do their criteria compare?
    • What is the role of retail investors in primary placements? What is their presence in the primary and secondary market?
Session ends: 18:00
Chairperson's closing remarks
Session ends: 18:00