Ukraine's capital city Kiev may sell as much as $500 million of bonds to help it prepare to host next year's Eurovision Song Contest. According to the Ukrainian Finance Minister Mykola Azarov the city needs cash to improve its transport network, hotels and other services for the event next May. Kiev is likely to get government approval to sell the bonds.
“The Eurovision Song Contest comes to Kiev in 2005 and of course we would need a lot of good infrastructure projects to stage it,” Azarov said on the sidelines of an investment conference in London. The bond sale may more than double Kiev's debt as the city prepares to host artists, fans and officials from all participating countries. Kiev is allowed to increase its outstanding foreign debt to $2 billion. The city already has $350 million of foreign debt after issuing bonds in each of the past two years.
Kiev's deputy mayor Valery Borisov said that the cost of the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest is being calculated at the moment. The bonds are likely to be denominated in dollars with a maturity of between seven and ten years. The sale will happen before May.