Bulgaria State Energy Holding to Tap International Markets

Energy | August 28, 2012, Tuesday // 19:43|  views

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Bulgaria's state energy holding company, which groups the country's top energy assets, has confirmed plans to tap international markets at the beginning of next year to repay its debt.

The group aims issue between USD 250 M and USD 300 M worth of dollar-denominated bonds, Chief Executive Mikhail Andonov said on Monday, confirming earlier reports.

Andonov said he hoped the company will manage to achieve an interest rate between 3.5-4.5%, but the maturity of the bond was not clear.

BEH was incorporated in 2008 with a decision of the previous Socialist-led government.

BEH subject of activity is acquisition, management, assessment and sale of participations in trading companies, carrying out business activity in the fields of generation, production, transmission, transit, storage, management, distribution, sale and/or purchase of natural gas, electricity, thermal power, coals, as well as any other type of energy and raw materials for the production.

BEH EAD is a shareholding company with 100% state owned participation. The Holding includes Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD, Maritsa East 2 TPP EAD, Kozloduy NPP EAD, NEK EAD, Electricity System Operator EAD, Bulgargaz EAD, Bulgartransgaz EAD and Bulgartel EAD.

All companies, brought together in the holding structure, preserve their operational independence and licenses, as they are all owned and directly subordinated to the corporate center BEH EAD.

The Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD is one of the largest companies in the region, and national energy leader.

Bulgaria tapped this summer international markets to raise funds to repay the first tranche of about EUR 835 M (USD 1.07 B) in 11-year eurobonds maturing on January 15, 2013. The next tranche however is due in 2015 and Sofia may be forced to go to the markets again.

A quarter of the bonds were purchased by British financial institutions, followed by those from Germany - 17%, according to data by the finance ministry.

Nine percent were acquired by Asian investors. Almost fifty percent of the bonds in the new issue went into the hands of investment funds, while 6% - at central banks.

Interestingly, the bond issue will mature in the summer of 2017, when the country will hold general parliamentary elections. But experts say this is just a coincidence, not a deliberately sought result.

Bulgaria is rated Baa2 by Moody's Investor Services Inc., and BBB by Standard and Poor's Corp.

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Tags: Bulgaria, energy, Holding


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