Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine sold 1 billion euros of 7-year bonds in its first offer to international markets under new president — and former comedian — Volodymyr Zelensky, who was elected in April.

Why it matters: Ukraine's latest offering comes amid a flurry of new bond issuance, particularly from emerging markets, as declining interest rates in the U.S. and Europe (where German government bond yields have hit all-time lows) are encouraging countries to load up on new debt.

  • Last week Indonesia, Croatia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Peru and Serbia all announced plans to issue new bonds, with the first 4 successfully completing debt sales. Ecuador is said to be in talks to issue new bonds as well.

By the numbers: Ukraine's bonds came with a coupon on 6.75%, a far cry from the 10.5% yield on 7-year issues in January.

  • The bond issue could not have come at a better time. Ukrainian bond yields spiked last year as emerging-market debt sold off broadly, and as Zelensky rose in polls, because of uncertainty about his economic strategy and ability to deal with Russia.

The big picture: Emerging market countries and corporate entities have already issued a record amount of debt and look poised to increase the total further this year. Higher debt will put increased stress on balance sheets in the event of a global economic downturn.

Go deeper: Emerging markets are hot again after a rocky 2018

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech CEOs

Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via Getty Images

The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to authorize subpoenas compelling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before the panel.

Why it matters: The tech giants are yet again facing a potential grilling on Capitol Hill sometime before the end of the year, at a time when tech is being used as a punching bag from both the left and right.

Trump administration cuts refugee cap to new record low

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to only admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees this fiscal year, the State Department said in a release late Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: This is yet another record-low refugee cap. Before leaving office, President Obama set the refugee limit at 110,000 for fiscal year 2017 — a number Trump has continued to slash throughout his presidency.

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