A senior banker has told GTR that he expects deals in Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS to dry up in the second half of 2013.

Nick Vozianov, director of syndicated finance at ING, says that the flow of deals has already reduced significantly from the beginning of the year and that the pipeline for Qs 3 and 4 is looking even worse.

Vozianov was speaking in the wake of the closure of a US$560mn pre-export finance (PXF) facility with Ukrainian mining company Metinvest. ING was one of the mandated lead arrangers on the transaction and while he is hopeful that there may be one deal of a similar size to come out of the Ukraine this quarter, prospects for the rest of the year look meagre.

Those involved in the Metinvest transaction (previously reported here), were surprised by the level of interest among banks. Initially, the sponsor had hoped to secure less than US$300mn, but the deal was heavily oversubscribed.

It is indicative of a trend in the market, whereby bankers are approaching borrowers to originate transactions, rather than the other way around. “When borrowers started receiving five, six visits a week from banks asking them to set up new financing,” says Vozianov, “they were very surprised. They never thought of that, they didn’t particularly need it, but if there’s a very good market, why not?”

Vozianov says competition among banks has led to a dramatic fall in pricing too. In the Middle East, he says, pricing has halved in two years.

However, it is believed that the Metinvest transaction is priced at Libor plus 5.2%, in the same ballpark as PXF facilities the company arranged in 2010, but significantly more expensive than the Libor plus 3% lines they were able to close in 2011.