Iraq’s bonds fell in September after the government announced plans for a debt issuance
Iraq’s government bonds are beating Middle Eastern peers as OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer plans talks with the International Monetary Fund for more aid after abandoning a debt sale.
The $2.7 billion securities due 2028 were poised for their first monthly increase since April after the yield dropped 77 basis points in October to 9.54 per cent on Tuesday. That compares with an nine basis-point decline in the average yield on Middle East bonds, JPMorgan Chase & Company indexes show.
Iraq’s bonds fell in September after the government announced plans for a debt issuance, prompting traders to sell the existing securities in the hopes of buying the new, higher- yielding paper. The government cancelled the offering after potential investors, encouraged by a spike in the nation’s credit risk, demanded higher interest rates than it was willing to pay, renewing demand for its outstanding debt. The bonds also rallied on Iraq’s plan to meet with the International Monetary Fund for more funds.
The "bonds were under pressure due to speculation of a new issuance," but "we see the selloff as overdone, so expect more upside from here," said Morten Bugge, chief investment officer at Kolding, Denmark-based at Global Evolution, which manages about $2.5 billion of emerging market debt and holds Iraqi bonds. Planned talks with the IMF has also boosted demand, he said.
The Washington-based lender, which has already extended $1.25 billion in emergency assistance to Iraq, plans to send a team to the country soon to help create a framework to tackle its mounting challenges, Masood Ahmed, the fund’s director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the IMF, said last week. The program under discussion would help Iraq receive aid from lenders, including the World Bank, and reassure prospective investors, Ahmed said.
The cost of insuring Iraq’s debt against default surged 462 basis points this year to 830 basis points. The nation’s economy has buckled under the strain of its ongoing battle with Islamic State militants and a 45 per cent drop in Brent crude prices in the past 12 months.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]