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A History of Australian Corporate Bonds

Listed author(s):
  • Susan Black

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Joshua Kirkwood

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Alan Rai

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Thomas Williams

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Registered author(s):

This paper examines the development of Australian corporate bond issuance since the early 20th century, based on a new unit-record dataset that we have compiled. Issuance trends have changed significantly over the past century as bond markets have become more diverse, sophisticated and globally integrated. A number of changes over the past century are discussed: (i) today, issuance is largely by private entities whereas it was dominated by government-owned corporations historically; (ii) the issuer base has shifted from being mostly non-financial corporations towards banks; (iii) a wide range of entities are now able to tap the bond market; (iv) Australian corporations now raise a large share of funds offshore; and (v) the investor base has shifted away from direct holdings by households towards indirect holdings through superannuation/managed funds and holdings by non-residents. These developments have largely been due to: the evolution of the structure of the Australian economy; privatisations; and changes in the regulatory landscape, particularly the deregulation of the banking system in the 1980s, and the floating of the exchange rate and abolition of capital controls in 1983.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2012-09.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2012-09
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  1. Ricardo Caballero & Kevin Cowan & Jonathan Kearns, 2005. "Fear of Sudden Stops: Lessons From Australia and Chile," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 313-354.
  2. Carl Schwartz, 2010. "The Australian Government Guarantee Scheme," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 19-26, March.
  3. Merrett, David T. & Ville, Simon, 2009. "Financing Growth: New Issues by Australian Firms, 1920–1939," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(03), pages 563-589, September.
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