Cyprus Eyes 2015 Bond Market Return, Wary Of Russia Sanctions



Republic of Cyprus President Nicos AnastasiadesCyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday told Reuters he expects the republic to return to international bond markets in late 2015, and does not exclude testing investor appetite even sooner.

“We hope to be in a position to enter the markets towards the end of 2015. It is a very short period of time compared to countries under similar (bailout) programmes,” Anastasiades told Cypriot journalist Michele Kambas in an exclusive interview reported promptly by the Cyprus Mail.

Yields on Cyprus debt have tumbled to 5.13 percent, just over a year after the government’s flirtation with bankruptcy and bail-in drove the interest rate to nearly 15 percent in March 2013.

When asked whether Cyprus, in light of these conditions, might consider a small debt issuance to gauge appetite for a larger bond, Anastasiades replied: “It is something which we could look at, at a time when we feel it would be successful to try.”

However, Anastasiades also warned that the EU’s reliance on Russian resources could prove painful if Brussels imposes further sanctions on Moscow because of the machinations in Ukraine.

“It is well known that as a result of the long-running ties we have with Russia that there is an economic dependency, if you like, and it does not only apply to us,” Anastasiades said.

Doubtless realizing that Cyprus has more to lose than most EU member states in its dealings with Russia, Anastasiades called for measures to mitigate the damage done if relations continue to deteriorate and economic sanctions are ratcheted up. Perhaps wishfully, he hinted such measures might include leaving the application of further curbs to the discretion of member states, which could allow Cyprus leeway in its dealings with Russia.

“It is not only we who are clear about this, but other European states too. Any new package of sanctions against Russia – and I do not wish for this to happen – must take into account the particular circumstances, the damages, and generally the consequences to each country,” Anastasiades said.

“There should be a series of offsetting measures, but also the right of each country to choose… regarding implementation, and of what measures,” he said.