Russia defaults on foreign debt for first time in a century

Russia defaults on foreign debt for first time in a century

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century, the culmination of ever-tougher Western sanctions that shut down payment routes to overseas creditors, Bloomberg reports.

For months, the country found paths around the penalties imposed after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. But at the end of the day on Sunday, June 26, the grace period on about $100 million of snared interest payments due May 27 expired, a deadline considered an event of default if missed.

Whether or not Russia has defaulted is pretty much irrelevant, at least to the investment layer. Russian eurobonds sunk about 80 per cent in February as the international finance system rolled down the shutters and have barely budged since.

To a lawyer or a politician, however, it’s a question of perspective. There are many intricacies around whether missing about $100mn in payments due on May 27 that were sold using a prospectus that declares default after 30 days of arrears is actually a default, Financial Times says.

Russia says the money’s left its account, and banks refusing to touch its money is not its problem. (Just to confuse matters, one bond sale prospectus allows payments in rubles and the other doesn’t.) Bondholders themselves have the power call default themselves, but will first want to figure out who they plan to launch legal action against, and in what jurisdiction. Ratings agencies can’t arbitrate the European Union has banned them from covering Russia.

The money doesn’t really care about any of this, at least not yet, because the money had it all figured out already.

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