BUDGET 2018: NZ govt tilts debt profile to long-term maturities
By Paul McBeth
May 17 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Debt Management Office will increase its sale of government bonds over the next four years, while trimming short-term Treasury bills, lifting the borrowing programme by about $1 billion.
The government’s borrowing programme will issue more bonds in the 2019 through 2021 years, taking gross issuance to $38 billion over the coming four years, up from $35 billion expected in the half-year update, while trimming $2 billion from the T-bill programme in the current year and smoothing other short-term issues in later years.
“This reflects the more flexible approach to T-bill issuance that will be implemented by the NZDMO from 1 July 2018,” the agency said in a statement.
The Labour-led government has adopted a slower debt repayment track than its predecessor, with net debt falling to 19.1 percent of gross domestic product by 2022 from 20.8 percent in the current year.
Today’s document reaffirmed the government’s intention to keep levels of NZ government bonds on issue “at not less than 20 percent of GDP over time”, saying the programme is needed to ensure ongoing access to funding and supporting the books in the event of a future shock, reducing volatility of borrowing through economic cycles and bolstering the wider capital market.
While New Zealand’s interest rates are anchored by flat inflation expectations, global rates have been rising with the yield on US 10-year Treasuries at a seven-year high of 3.1 percent.