(Bloomberg) — Hungary plans to offer bonds in euros and dollars as Prime Minister Viktor Orban seeks alternatives to billions of euros in blocked European Union funding.
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Hungary plans to sell seven-year and 12-year benchmark-sized bonds in dollars and nine-year bonds in euros in the near future, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it. BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., ING Groep NV and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are to arrange the sale, the person said.
Potential proceeds will help plug holes in Hungary’s budget, strained by lavish social spending in the run-up to elections in April that helped Orban secure a fifth term. Hungary currently can’t access 7.2 billion euros ($7.7 billion) in EU pandemic relief funds due to concerns about the erosion of rule of law and graft.
Financing challenges have led Orban to announce far-reaching budget consolidation plans over the weekend, including about $6 billion in government spending cuts and savings, as well as a sweeping set of windfall taxes on industries ranging from banking to energy.
Hungary is the latest country from central and eastern Europe to tap international markets in recent weeks. Foreign funding is a cheaper option for regional sovereigns as they face a spike in local-currency yields after a series of interest rates hikes meant to stifle surging inflation.
Poland priced 2 billion euros in 10-year bonds last month, while Croatia sold 1.25 billion euros worth of same-tenor debt in April. The yield on Hungary’s 10-year forint bond hovered around 7.2% on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hungary raised its target for foreign bond sales this year by 2.5 billion euros to as much as 5.1 billion euros. That leaves up to 4.5 billion euros in foreign-currency bond sales this year after a Samurai bond the country priced in February.
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