Spain attracted a record €53bn of bids for its new 10-year bond on Tuesday, reflecting a rush among investors to get their hands on debt in what is likely to be a slow year for eurozone government bond issues.
The €10bn of new debt sold at a yield of roughly 0.5 per cent, bankers working on the deal said, and follows record-breaking demand for an Irish debt sale last week.
Despite rock-bottom borrowing costs, governments in the euro area are preparing to issue less debt this year than at any point since the financial crisis.
“It’s quite difficult for investors these days to get bonds in large volumes, so a syndication like Spain’s is quite attractive,” said Rabobank strategist Lyn Graham-Taylor. “It’s an opportunity that might not come around again later in the year.”
Despite the low issuance targets for the full year, January is almost always a busy month in the bond markets. So far, investors have shown themselves to be willing to swallow large volumes of new bonds despite broader weakness in eurozone government debt markets that pushed German 10-year yields to a nine-month high of minus 0.16 per cent on Monday.
Yields on the safest eurozone bond have pushed higher this year thanks to optimism about the state of the economy and signs of progress in US-China trade talks. But riskier government debt has outperformed as investors favour assets that offer extra yield above German bonds, which serve as a benchmark for the entire currency area.
Spain’s current 10-year benchmark bond was trading at a yield of 0.47 per cent on Tuesday, unchanged from start of year, with the formation of a new coalition government last week helping to boost confidence.