Sovereign bond raising positive: Bank

Kina Bank says the successful raising of USD500 million via a sovereign bond issue by the PNG Government is a positive development.

It says this is a very good outcome for PNG in the beginning to diversify sources of its debt.

The Bank also said it marks an important milestone for the government, the central bank and Treasury with respect to debt management strategy.

Kina Bank believes PNG remains relatively attractive from an offshore debt provider point of view due to low foreign debt levels and a large trade surplus.

The bank said the issuance had been subscribed with a level of demand well in excess of the amount offered, indicating an underlying appetite for PNG foreign currency debt.

Kina says over time, this will afford PNG the opportunity to execute a foreign currency debt issuance program and management strategy across multiple currencies, various amounts and terms that will facilitate repayment and refinancing of existing domestic and foreign issuance as part of an overall portfolio approach to foreign currency and domestic debt management.

Should such a strategic approach to management of country level debt be employed, Kina Bank believes the currency risk associated with repatriating the proceeds of the bond issue is able to be managed.

Cedric Patjole