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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Eurodollar bond still on hold

The Finance Ministry said on March 11 that the country's $250-300 million debut Eurobond issue was still on hold due to unfavorable market conditions. But a senior ministry official who did not wish to be named said that another reason for the delay was expectations surrounding the result of the Moody's review of Slovakia's rating. "It's not only market conditions. Everybody is waiting to see whether Moody's will change its rating because this would change the price of borrowing as well," the ministry official said. Moody's said in January that it would put Slovakia under review for possible downgrading of its Baa3 rating for bonds and Ba1 rating for bank deposits. Slovakia originally planned to issue the five-year bond last autumn, but the project was postponed due to last year's turmoil on emerging markets.

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