Singapore to issue 20-year bonds for the first time

SINGAPORE, Oct 12, 2006 (AFP) – The Singapore government will issue a 20-year bond for the first time next year as part of efforts to further develop the local debt market, the de facto central bank said Thursday. The new Singapore Government Securities (SGS) bond will be issued in March 2007, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement.

Currently, the longest SGS bond, first issued in 2001, has a maturity of 15 years, the MAS said.

“The extension of the benchmark yield curve will facilitate pricing of long-dated securities such as infrastructure project bonds,” Second Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said.

“Longer-dated products will also help insurance companies to better manage risks and offer annuity and other retirement planning products,” he said.

The SGS bonds are usually sold via auction through “primary dealers” appointed by the central bank.

But in a bid to broaden the investor base, the MAS said it is considering using other channels for the 20-year bond like a direct sales mechanism through lead managers.

Singapore began to develop its Singapore dollar debt market in 1998 as an alternative source of funding to bank loans. Since then, the market has almo