Cyprus to sound out European investors on new bonds

Bailed-out Cyprus will be putting out market feelers next week about a possible new bond issue, choosing Barclays, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and SG CIB to organize meetings with European investors.

Cyprus, which tapped bond markets in mid-2014 after a three-year lull, said the meetings would brief investors on economic developments and ‘discuss financing strategy’. The briefings will start Dec. 9.

Cyprus is rated Î’+ by Standard and Poor’s, B3 by Moody’s and B- by Fitch.

“The primary aim is to brief investors on the economy and its prospects, and get some market feedback,” a Cypriot finance ministry source told Reuters.

Putting out market feelers was also appropriate in the event of a ‘possible’ new debt issue of the Republic, the source said.

Harris Georgiades, Cyprus’s finance minister, has previously not ruled out a new debt issue, but has said it would depend on market conditions.

Cyprus required a 10 billion-euro international bailout in early 2013 after its banks almost collapsed from their exposure to debt-stricken Greece and its own fiscal slippage.

Since then the island nation, one of the euro zone’s smallest, has shown signs of recovery and defied lenders’ expectations it would suffer a recession worse than the 2.8 percent contraction forecast for 2014. The economy island is now expected to return to growth in 2015.