The Slovenia Times

Slovenia issues new dollar bond

Washington, US
US dollar notes.
Photo: Xinhua/STA
Slovenia has issued a new ten-year bond, the first one denominated in US dollars since 2014. Worth a billion dollars, it comes with a coupon rate of 5%.

Investor demand exceeded 3.8 billion dollars, which is "a strong testimony of the confidence institutional investors have in the Republic of Slovenia," the Finance Ministry said on 13 September.

The treasury implemented a currency swap to hedge against exchange rate risks. The actual cost of financing after currency exchange is thus at 3.802%.

The bond issue "is of great strategic importance from the point of view of Slovenia's position on the capital markets," the ministry said.

Slovenia last borrowed in dollars amid a debt crisis in 2014, when it issued a dual 5- and 10-year bond worth a combined 3.5 billion dollars.

It has since conducted several buybacks and swaps. The amount outstanding was 557 million dollars at the end of August, according to treasury data.

Commenting on the issue for the newspaper Finance, Primož Cencelj of asset manager Generali Investments described the treasury's move as sensible.

"Developments a decade ago, when European markets were virtually inaccessible to Slovenia, have taught us that diversification among a broader investment base is always welcome from the treasury perspective.

"From that perspective, such an issue a year before the 10-year dollar bond matures is sensible and it's sensible to maintain a relationship with investors in dollar bonds," Cencelj said.

Announcing plans for the dollar bond issue in late May, Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič revealed that Slovenia was also considering borrowing in Japan, probably in the autumn, and potentially in China later on.

He said many Japanese investors had expressed interest in sustainability bonds, which the treasury was also considering.

Slovenia was the first Central and East European Country and the second EU country to issue a sustainability bond in 2021, and another one this year, both of which the minister described as positive experiences.

Analysis has shown that interest in Slovenian sustainability bonds is highest in Scandinavian and Benelux countries, while interest within Slovenia has been a disappointment, according to the minister.

With sustainability bonds issued so far, Slovenia has financed renovation of railway infrastructure, acquisition of electric trains, and to an extent urban mobility, social and healthcare projects, and projects aimed at reducing its carbon footprint.


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