Business and Economics > Investments: Bonds

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Andreas Jobst, Ms. Laura Valderrama, Mr. Ivan S Guerra, and Mr. Hemant Shah
This paper-consisting of a regional study and seven country studies-reviews the state of domestic public debt markets in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama as at end-2005. Although they account for the lion's share of capital markets, regional public debt markets remain underdeveloped for a variety of reasons. The problems of small scale, dollarization, and weak public finances in many countries are compounded by poor structure and composition of debt (with sizeable nonstandard and non-tradable components), fragmentation of public debt between central banks and the sovereigns and across instruments, poor debt management practices, weaknesses in securities market, and small investor bases all of which result in high transaction costs and a lack of liquid benchmarks. The paper also briefly discusses efforts towards and impediments to regional integration of public debt markets. The authorities recognize these problems and the paper takes note of the regional efforts to harmonize debt standards and improve issuance practices. It offers several recommendations to improve strategic debt management, issuance mechanics, and secondary trading.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department


This March 2002 issue of the Global Financial Stability Report highlights that financial markets ended the year 2001 on a positive note. Equity markets recovered and rallied noticeably from their lows of late September. In bond markets, yield spreads of corporate and high-yielding bonds, particularly emerging market bonds, narrowed against the U.S. Treasury. At the same time, the U.S. Treasury yield curve steepened, and the U.S. dollar has strengthened. Financial markets thus anticipate, and have priced in, a recovery in economic activity and corporate earnings during 2002.

Mr. Marco A. Piñón-Farah
This paper reviews recent experience with both sovereign and private bond restructurings. It also summarizes the literature on private bond restructurings and describes the “typical” process for a voluntary exchange of new bonds for existing obligations. From this information some conclusions are drawn as to the possibility of concluding voluntary restructuring agreements for sovereign bonds within relatively short periods of time.
Mr. Thomas Laursen and Mr. Juan Jose Fernandez-Ansola
The paper reviews the historical experience of developing countries with bond issues in international markets in order to put the recent wave of bond financing by these countries in some perspective. It examines developments in the early part of this century and during the mid-1970s and early 1980s. The sources and the role played by bond financing during these periods are discussed. The payments problems associated with these bonds that emerged during the 1930s and during the latter half of the 1980s and the ways in which these problems were resolved are also examined.