Finance ministry: Estonian bonds issued at western European rate

Märten Ross, Undersecretary for Financial Policy and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Finance, said on Thursday the successful issue of Estonia's long-term bonds has been more reminiscent of the situation when bonds are issued by western European countries.

One of the reasons for the successful issue was good timing, he said, and confirmed the issue is good compared to neighboring countries.

"If there is a comparison, a month ago, a not very distant southern neighbor also issued 10-year bonds. The issue price was 0.8 percent above the comparison base," he said. 

"Central to the issue was whether we were valued as Eastern or Western Europe," Ross said. According to him, the current issue was similar to a small bond issue in Western or Central Europe. 

A total of 280 international investors wanted to subscribe to bonds worth €7.7 billion. As a result, the Ministry of Finance decided to increase the volume of the bond issue to €1.5 billion from €1 billion. 

The largest share of bonds, or 36 percent, was subscribed to by investors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, followed by investors from the United Kingdom and 16 percent from the Nordic countries. Baltic investors subscribed to 4 percent of bonds. 

"The interest was ultimately greater than we hoped or thought. To the end, this distribution is as it should be in cases like this," Ross said. 

Ross said a country the size of Estonia should not issue long-term bonds every year because the state does not need to borrow so much money.

Ross also noted that it is wise to borrow money from different places. In March, the state signed a €750 million loan agreement with the Nordic Investment Bank.

Estonian bond yield is more favorable than Latvia and Lithuania 

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said on ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" the decision to issue ten-year Estonian bonds for one and a half billion euros was made mainly due to favorable conditions. 

The yield on Estonian ten-year bonds is much more favorable than, for example, in Latvia and Lithuania, he said. The yield on Estonian ten-year bonds is 0.235 percent, which is much more favorable than Latvian and Lithuanian bonds.

Peter Priisalm, investment manager at the asset management company Avaron said: "Compared to Latvia and Lithuania, the yields on Latvian and Lithuanian ten-year bonds are around 0.5 percent, which is about 20 to 30 points or 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points higher than the price of a Slovak ten-year bond with a similar credit rating. Ireland has a similar credit rating, with a ten-year bond trading at around 0.15 percent, of which Estonia pays 0.1 percentage point more, which means a lower premium than Latvia-Lithuania compared to Slovakia."


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Editor: Helen Wright

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