Sri Lanka treasuries yields plummet

Jan 08, 2007 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s short term treasuries yields plunged at Wednesday’s auction, while secondary market yields on longer term bonds also fell amidst foreign buying, dealers said. Three month treasury yields fell 118 basis points to 20.12 percent, 6-month bills fell 20 basis points to 19.79 percent and 12-month yields also fell 20 basis points to 19.76 percent.

In the secondary market three months bills were trading as low as 19.55/60 percent, indicating that rates may fall further at next week’s auction, dealers said.

In bond markets, the 15.03.09 bond, which has become a foreign investor favourite since limits were relaxed in November, fell to 19.00 percent. Days ago the bond was trading at yields as high as 19.85 percent, dealers said.

The 01.11.10 bond was trading at 17.75 percent. However, on the buying side was the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the country’s largest pension fund of private sector workers.

There is rising concern, among some contributors to the fund, at the way the EPF is run especially after trained analysts were effectively sacked due to internal employment politics within the Central Bank which runs the fund.

Many private analysts have been concerned at the way the EPF seems to be mostly on the buying side of trades and not the sell sides.

This has raised fears that it is being mis-used to push rates down rather than engaging in active secondary market trading and realizing capital gains in a falling interest rate environment.

Critics have pointed out that the EPF is generally referred to by market participants as a ‘captive source’ recognizing that it is being run as a plaything of the state. .