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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

Ben Geman, author of Generate
23 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's plan to upend Trump's environmental legacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will on Wednesday order a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules.

Why it matters: New information from transition officials offers the full scope of Biden's imminent, inauguration-day burst of environmental and energy policy moves.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
24 mins ago - Health

The public health presidency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden will take office today facing a challenge none of his modern predecessors have had to reckon with — his legacy will depend largely on how well he handles a once-in-a-century pandemic that's already raging out of control.

The big picture: Public health tends to be relatively apolitical and non-controversial. The limelight in health care politics typically belongs instead to debates over costs and coverage. But that will all change for the Biden administration.

D.C. braces for economic hit from scaled-back inauguration

Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The days leading up to and including Inauguration Day typically generate $31.4 million in additional sales for D.C. businesses — but not this year.

Why it matters: Washington's economy is already suffering from pandemic-induced closures, and could very much use the revelry and tourist dollars that Inauguration Day brings — instead of the large bills that will pile up if there's further mayhem or if visitors continue to stay away.

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