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North-West Telecom

February 22, 2005

The Credit Rating ruBBB+ according to the Russian Scale has been appropriated to the Third Issue of OJSC North-West Telecomís Bonds

On 21st February 2005 the Standard & Poorís rating agency appropriated the credit rating ruBBB+ according to the Russian scale to the third issue of OJSC North-West Telecomís interest-bearing documentary Bonds. According to analysts of Standard & Poorís, in 2004 North-West Telecom retained the moderate level of investment in upgrading its network, which was accompanied by a moderate growth of debentures; in 2004-2005 the total debt to EBITDA ratio will remain below 2.0. Positive factors include the settlement of the then outstanding debt to the Russian government in the framework of a Vnesheconombank loan in 2004. Besides, analysts are forecasting a 20% growth of North-West Telecomís income and a certain improvement of operating and financial performance of the company as a result of the affiliation of two base stationary communication operators in Leningrad Oblast and the Republic of Komi with OJSC NWT.

In the first days of March bonds are expected to be floated by public subscription at the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MMVB). The auction will be held at the rate of the first coupon. Receipts from floatation will be allocated for funding capital investment and refinancing debentures.    

The third bonded loan of OJSC NWT worth of RUR 3 billion was registered on 28th December 2004. The circulation period of the bonds is 6 years, the right of early presentation for redemption is provided for after 3 years, the face value of the bonds being 1,000 roubles.  OJSC Web Invest Bank is the organizer of the issue, AKB Svyaz Bank is the co-organizer and IK AVK is the financial consultant.  At the moment the long-term credit rating of OJSC NWT according to the national scale is at the level of ruBBB+, and that according to the international scale is B-/Positive




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