Looking Pretty

The governments bond issue to raise US$ 91.5 mn opens next week, with initial reports indicating that the issue would be oversubscribed.
Dealers expect the Central Bank to take up the oversubscription provided the interest rates hover around two basis points over the six months LIBOR.rn

rnThe Central Bank is rolling over US$ 91.5 mn worth of paper when it comes up for renewal on June 28 and issue fresh bills for US$ 158.5 mn. rn

rnThe issue, which does not have a put option, will not be rated. It carries a minimum two-year tenure and will be linked to the six months London interbank offered rate or LIBOR. rn

rnThe issue comes at a time the Treasury hunts for cash to meet crude oil import bills and subsidise essential food items.rn

rnSecondary market government bond rates have been jumpy lately over uncertainties on the governments economic agenda. The Central Bank has said repeatedly that there is no change in policy.rn

rnThe Bank also rejected Thursdays three-year bond auction as it did not believe interest rates should pick up.rn

rnTreasury bill yields have also on the rise lately, as the market panics the absence of a clear economic strategy.rn

rnHowever, yields of three, six and twelve months have risen by 43, 48 and 45 basis points year to date.rn

rnThe yields have increased significantly since the beginning of November 2003. rn

rnThe yields of three-month, six-month and twelve-month Treasury Bills have increased by 74,73 and 76 basis points since beginning of November 2003 to date, reports stockbrokers LOLC Securities.rn

rnThere is also a possibility that the Central Bank may contemplate a cut in the Overnight Repurchase Rate, which currently stands at seven percent, the report said.rn

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-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlanka.comrn