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Strategic Considerations for First-Time Sovereign Bond Issuers


  • Magdalena Polan
  • Udaibir S Das
  • Michael G. Papaioannou


The recent round of debt relief has restored debt sustainability in many low-income countries (LICs). This, along with a continued search for yield and desire for portfolio diversification by investors, has increased the range of viable financing options, including international bonds, for many emerging market (EM) economies and LICs. This paper presents some of the advantages and disadvantages of international debut bonds, within a debt sustainability framework. It outlines key preconditions and discusses strategic considerations that countries need to take into account when contemplating bond issuance in international markets for the first time. In this context, the paper also discusses some typical pitfalls in accessing international capital markets, including excessive issue size relative to the intended use of bond proceeds, issuance of bullet bonds, and inadequate preparation for accessing the markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Magdalena Polan & Udaibir S Das & Michael G. Papaioannou, 2008. "Strategic Considerations for First-Time Sovereign Bond Issuers," IMF Working Papers 08/261, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/261

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Seema Jayachandran & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Odious Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 82-92, March.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
    3. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    4. Pierre-Richard Ag├łnor, 2003. "Benefits and Costs of International Financial Integration: Theory and Facts," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1089-1118, August.
    5. Mauro, Paolo & Sussman, Nathan & Yafeh, Yishay, 2007. "Emerging Markets and Financial Globalization: Sovereign Bond Spreads in 1870-1913 and Today," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199226139.
    6. David A. Grigorian, 2003. "On the Determinants of First-Time Sovereign Bond Issues," IMF Working Papers 03/184, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Robert F. Dittmar, 2008. "Do Sovereign Bonds Benefit Corporate Bonds in Emerging Markets?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(5), pages 1983-2014, September.
    8. Axel Schimmelpfennig & Nouriel Roubini & Paolo Manasse, 2003. "Predicting Sovereign Debt Crises," IMF Working Papers 03/221, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Presbitero & Dhaneshwar Ghura & Olumuyiwa S Adedeji & Lamin Njie, 2015. "International Sovereign Bonds by Emerging Markets and Developing Economies; Drivers of Issuance and Spreads," IMF Working Papers 15/275, International Monetary Fund.


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