Sweden to auction more treasury bills

Sweden’s National Debt Office (Riksgälden) announced on Thursday it would issue up to 150 billion kronor ($22.4 billion) in additional treasury notes to satisfy increased demand for safe investments amid the global financial crisis.

The Debt Office said it had consulted with the country’s central bank and had “decided to take a number of certain measures in order to counteract the shortage in the T-bill market that has occurred as [a] consequence of the market turbulence.”

Earlier in the day, the agency had suspended its treasury bill trading activities while it worked to assess the market’s needs.

In addition to already planned T-bill auctions, the government agency said it would hold several additional auctions at which it would issue a maximum of 150 billion kronor worth of treasury bills.

The first additional auction, during which T-bills worth 25 billion kronor will be issued, is scheduled for Friday at 11am, the debt office said in a statement.

SEB chief analyst Robert Bergquist hailed the move.

“The market has been hunting for alternative investments to pump money into during these uncertain times. The world is so unpredictable that people have wanted to find government bonds and most of all bonds with short maturities,” he told Sveriges Radio.

“They are very secure (investments) and that is what we need in these times,” he added.


Sweden boasts hefty budget surplus for 2011

Sweden’s national debt office (Riksgälden) stated on Tuesday that the country’s budget surplus from 2011 stood at 68 billion kronor ($9.85 billion).

“Despite increased concerns about the debt situation in the world and an expected slowdown in the economy during the second half, Swedish government finances developed strongly in 2011,” the debt office said in a statement.

While Sweden, with its heavily export reliant economy was hard-hit during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, its recovery “continued to be strong in 2011, which generated higher tax income,” the office said.

The debt office pointed out that the government during the year had also sold off shares worth 23 billion kronor in the Nordic region’s biggest bank, Nordea, and in Swedish-Finnish telecom giant Telia Sonera.

Sweden’s central government debt meanwhile stood at 1,108 billion kronor at the end of 2011, which corresponds to 32 percent of the non-euro-member’s gross domestic product (GDP), far below the 60-percent level allowed within the eurozone.