Over 7% of Brazil’s Treasury Bonds, US$ 55 Billion Worth, Are in Foreign Hands

Brazilian real currency The amount of Brazilian treasury bonds in foreign hands reached a record figure in September and exceeded the total prior to the global financial crisis. According to Brazil's National Treasury, foreign investors had 7.15% of the treasury bonds last month, equivalent to 95.96 billion reais (US$ 55.5 billion).

To the General Coordinator of Public Debt Operations, Fernando Garrido, the fact reflects the greater confidence in the Brazilian capacity to honor its commitments. "It is a gradual tendency for foreign participation in public debt to rise."

To the coordinator, it is still early to estimate the impact the 2% Financial Operations Tax (IOF) on foreign capital, in place since October 20, will have on this tendency. In Garrido's evaluation, the IOF should only affect short-term investment.

"To long-term investors, the impact should have little significance, as the measure applies mostly to those investing in the country for a short period of time," he said.

The previous record had been identified in August, when foreigners had 7% of the bonds. At that time, the total was 82.3 billion reais.

On disclosing the result of the Federal Public Debt in August, Garrido admitted that the treasury has been facing volatility in recent weeks due to elevation of interest rates on the futures market. He, however, denied that higher interest rates should have an impact on the debt because the Treasury has started offering lower volumes of bonds.

"It is part of the treasury strategy to reduce the volume of bonds at moments of volatility, not to have to cover the interest rates the market requires. This avoids increases in the debt," he explained.

He pointed out that the average cost of the public debt, accumulated over the last 12 months, dropped from 13.08% a year, in August, to 11.42% a year in September. The figure represents the volume of interest, on average, that the government has to pay to extend the debt.

ABr

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