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Belarus President urges bondholders not to worry

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday that holders of the country's sovereign bonds should not be worried over Minsk's ability to service its obligations.

"Some bondholders are worrying that we are in a pre-default situation. This doesn't mean anything," Lukashenko told his annual briefing, referring to his earlier comments.

"Refinancing would be good for us but we envisage complete financing of our debts in the budget ... Our bondholders should not worry or find ways to sell them (bonds) cheap."

Minsk, Belarus
De Agostini | Getty Images
Minsk, Belarus

Later on, Belarus's finance ministry said the country had sufficient resources to fulfill its debt obligations in 2015 and that it was not considering restructuring its debt.

Belarus sovereign bonds maturing 2015 and 2018 had fallen by up to 22 cents in the dollar on Thursday after President Alexander Lukashenko said the country could be forced to seek debt restructuring.

Belarus' $1 billion bond maturing August 2015 fell 22 cents and its January 2018 issue with $800 million outstanding shed 18.5 cents. The issues traded at 72-75 cents in the dollar according to Tradeweb data.

Lukashenko had said that Belarus had to repay $4 billion in 2015 and may hold talks on possible debt restructuring if conditions proved to be difficult.

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