Railway News
4 December 2020
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Russian Railways Pioneered Debut International Social Bond Issue out of Russia

Russian Railways has experienced high levels of demand from international investors for its debut Social Eurobond nominated in roubles priced on December 3 and contributed to its impressive track record in raising ESG-linked borrowings, the company launched in 2019.

Russian Railways has experienced high levels of demand from international investors for its debut Social Eurobond nominated in roubles priced on December 3 and contributed to its impressive track record in raising ESG-linked borrowings, the company launched in 2019. The issue has become the first-ever international Social Bond from Russia and Russian Railways is proud of its privilege to pioneer this landmark transaction.

Within two hours after the start of the online roadshow, the book grew to RUB 25 billion allowing the company to increase its initially targeted size almost twice. The book continued to grow in the next hours with a pick of RUB 32 billion and allowed to achieve the longest maturity and the lowest coupon ever for a RUB Eurobond (tenor over 5 years). Finally, the long 7-year Social Bond raised RUB 25 billion with more than 50% of orders coming from international institutional investors including specialist ESG and was finally priced at 6.598% – longest-dated public RUB Eurobond ever issued.

The demand in the orderbook was represented by investors from the UK, Switzerland, Germany and other European countries, as well as from Asia and MENA region.

The purpose of the bond is aligned with the Russian Railways Social Framework and the funds will be allocated for financing the eligible social projects, including increasing the accessibility of passenger transport infrastructure, provision of healthcare and education services and other important social-related projects.

The issuance was prepared in accordance with the International Capital Markets Association’s Social Bond Principles. Second Party Opinion was provided by Sustainalytics, the leading independent ESG and corporate governance research and ratings company.
Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer – Chairman of the Executive Board of Russian Railways said: This issuance with its unique parameters is a true breakthrough for Russian companies. It broke all records. More than half of the issuance was bought by foreign investors.

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