Poland sold its first international bond with a negative yield, taking advantage of demand triggered by central bank stimulus in Switzerland.
The nation raised 580 million Swiss francs ($605 million) of bonds maturing May 2018 with a zero coupon, yielding minus 0.213 percent, according to a person with knowledge of Tuesday’s offering. Poland’s existing franc debt due May 2018 yielded minus 0.15 percent at 3:04 p.m. in Warsaw after dropping to a record minus 0.2 percent this month.
Poland is benefiting as monetary easing from central banks in developed economies spurs waves of bond buying. The nation, rated six steps below AAA-rated Germany at Standard & Poor’s, is the first east European sovereign to tap international markets at or below zero percent.
“Poland wants to establish a benchmark to show it can borrow at the same yield as Germany,” Tatha Ghose, an economist at Commerzbank AG in London, said by phone.
The notes were priced at 37 basis points above the mid-swap rate, down from initial guidance of about 38 basis points and a 200 million-franc offering, said the person, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Poland’s Finance Ministry received an “attractive offer” from domestic investors to sell bonds in francs and will use proceeds from the sale to buy back some of its 1.5 billion francs of notes coming due in May, Deputy Finance Minister Artur Radziwill said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. HSBC Holdings Plc and PKO Bank Polski SA managed the sale.
In the three months since the Swiss National Bank scrapped the franc’s ceiling against the euro, it’s intervened in currency markets, cut interest rates and last week made more depositors subject to its negative rates.
Poland wants to establish a benchmark to show it can borrow at the same yield as Germany.
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That government bonds in Europe have negative yields is no longer a quirk of market pricing.
On Wednesday, Switzerland sold 377.9 million Swiss francs worth of bonds maturing in 2025 and 2049, respectively, and the yield on the 10-year paper came in at -0.055%, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This means that investors will pay the Swiss government 5.5 basis points every six months for the next 10 years for the right to lend money to the Swiss government.
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