Colombia plans to sell an additional
2 trillion pesos ($855 million) of Treasury bonds this year,
accelerating sales originally planned for 2009, said William
Ortiz, Colombia’s undersecretary of public credit.
The Finance Ministry had planned to sell 21.8 trillion pesos
of Treasury bonds this year. The fixed-rate bonds will mature in
2011, 2013 and 2018, Ortiz told reporters today during a news
conference in Bogota. The government will also sell inflation–
linked bonds due in 2013 and 2023.
“The government is anticipating a very difficult 2009 and
so is seeking financing now before credit becomes more costly,”
said Alvaro Camaro, chief analyst at Stanford Financial Group’s
unit in Bogota. “It’s simply avoiding the negative consequences
of the uncertainty that may come next year.”
The government will save 500 billion pesos in debt payments
due next year, Ortiz said. The government will reduce its local
debt sales next year to 22 trillion pesos.
Funds from the sales will be deposited in the Treasury’s
account at the central bank, Ortiz said. The central bank will to
compensate for the loss of liquidity resulting from investors
buying the new Treasury bonds.
The government has said it plans to borrow $1 billion in
foreign bonds next year and tap $1.4 billion from multilateral
lenders in 2009.
Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga said Oct. 14 that should
turbulence in global financial and credit markets disrupt the
government’s bond sale plans, Colombia could borrow the $1
billion rather than sell bonds in that amount under adverse
market conditions. (Bloomberg)