The state company "Gazprom" was on the verge of a technical default. The operator of payments on bonds of the gas monopoly - Citigroup - delays payments on securities due to checks for compliance with the sanctions regime. Bloomberg writes about this, citing paper holders and sources close to the American financial institution.
The agency notes that the state-owned company sent all the money on time last week, that is, the solvency of the issuer is beyond doubt. We are talking about payments on bonds denominated in US dollars in the amount of $15 million and in Swiss francs in the amount of ₣7.7 million ($8 million). However, the money has not yet been transferred to the accounts of the holders of securities, and both issues of securities have a grace period of 14 days.
Since the start of the war, all previous foreign-currency-denominated bond coupons have gone through without issue, according to Bloomberg. Moreover, Gazprom fully redeemed one issue of securities in the amount of $1.3 billion. Gazprom is under US and UK sanctions, the European Union and Switzerland have not imposed restrictions on the state-owned company.
Similar difficulties were experienced earlier by the Russian government, which was technically unable to transfer money on issues of government bonds. Foreign authorities, rating agencies and investors interpreted this situation as a default, since Russia did not formally transfer the funds for its debts to the holders of securities.
The Russian side, on the other hand, insists that it is a reliable issuer, ready to repay all obligations, and Western sanctions are to blame for the difficulties, which do not allow the money to reach the holders of securities. To prove their own solvency, the Russian authorities intend to pay off the public debt in rubles, but neither the Ministry of Finance nor foreign investors have yet announced their readiness to accept these payments.