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High And Volatile Treasury Yields In Tanzania: The Role Of Strategic Bidding And Auction Microstructure

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  • Sm ali Abbas
  • Yuri v. Sobolev

Abstract

The observed increase in the level and volatility of Tanzania's Treasury yields in recent years against an otherwise benign macroeconomic backdrop presented a puzzle for policymakers, while raising concerns about the fiscal burden of rising debt interest payments and diversion of bank credit away from the private sector. Using evidence from bid-level data, and supported by a simple theorising of bidder incentives under unorthodox issuance practices, this paper traces the recent volatility in yields to the emergence of a sharp segmentation of the T-bill market between sophisticated financial market players (foreign-controlled banks) and a less-experienced group of investors (domestic pension funds and small banks). An important policy recommendation that emerges is that public debt managers should avoid micro-managing Treasury bill auctions by issuing amounts in excess of those offered or by dipping into oversubscribed segments of the yield curve, as such practices seriously disadvantage the less-sophisticated (but more competitive) investors vis-à-vis the more sophisticated players. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2009 Economic Society of South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Sm ali Abbas & Yuri v. Sobolev, 2009. "High And Volatile Treasury Yields In Tanzania: The Role Of Strategic Bidding And Auction Microstructure," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(2), pages 257-281, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:77:y:2009:i:2:p:257-281
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matti Keloharju & Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist, 2005. "Strategic Behavior and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions: Evidence from Finnish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1865-1902, August.
    2. David Hauner, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Financial Development," IMF Working Papers 06/26, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Leonardo Bartolini & Carlo Cottarelli, 1997. "Designing effective auctions for treasury securities," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 3(Jul).
    4. World Bank & International Monetory Fund, 2001. "Developing Government Bond Markets : A Handbook," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13865, July.
    5. Spindt, Paul A. & Stolz, Richard W., 1989. "The expected stop-out price in a discriminating auction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 133-137, December.
    6. World Bank, 2007. "Developing the Domestic Government Debt Market : From Diagnostics to Reform Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6707, July.
    7. Richard Podpiera & Martin Cihak, 2005. "Bank Behavior in Developing Countries; Evidence from East Africa," IMF Working Papers 05/129, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Danny Cassimon & Dennis Essers & Karel Verbeke, 2016. "The changing face of Rwanda's public debt," BeFinD Working Papers 0114, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    2. Peter Montiel & Christopher Adam & Wilfred Mbowe & Stephen O’Connell, 2012. "Financial Architecture and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Tanzania," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Riham Shendy & Zachary Kaplan & Peter Mousley, 2011. "Toward Better Infrastructure : Conditions, Constraints, and Opportunities in Financing Public-Private Partnerships in Select African Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2331, July.

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