Local Market Scramble For One-Year-Treasury Bills

Local investors scrambled for the 365-day Treasury Bills (TBs) offered by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as government sought to raise ZWL$ 60 million in its second TBs auction in a month.

Treasury Bills are government debt instruments sold to private entities to raise capital for its programs.

The recently re-introduced auction based system has attracted keen interests from market players as government seeks to improve transparency in its debt contraction.

The Central bank on Friday morning reflected that total bids more than doubled the ZWL$ 60 million allotment, reaching ZWL$ 121 million.

The average rate will be 14.36 percent.

However for the latest auction which began on Monday and closed on Thursday, it expanded its target market to asset managers, insurance and pension funds.

Earlier this month, RBZ ran the first Treasury Bills auction after a 10 year hiatus for its 91-day Treasury Bill targeting local banks only and allotted ZWL$ 30 million at an average interest rate of 15.6%.

Government has in recent years sold TBs into the market under a very opaque system that was widely criticized for uncompetitive rates as opposed to a market based system (auction) which helps establish a market based competitive rate.

More companies prefer to invest in government paper as the current macro-economic environment remains volatile.

Government has been running fiscal surpluses since beginning of the year, and the recent Treasury Bill offers have been mainly targeting to raise capital for productive purposes.

Analysts have cautioned government to abide by its promise to stop forthwith the assumption of debts for consumptive purposes as this is likely to draw back gains made and return to deficits.

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