Exclusive: Belgian Debt Head: Completed All Syndications for 2024; Almost 60% of Long-Term Issuance Done

3 May 2024

By Aurėja Bobelytė – VILNIUS (Econostream) – Belgium has finished its syndications for 2024, with nearly 60% of its long-term issuance already done, according to Maric Post, Director Treasury and Capital Markets at the Belgian Debt Agency (BDA).

In an interview with Econostream on April 25 (transcript here), Post said, ‘We were very well-funded, and we have done the three syndicated transactions that we had announced at the end of last year, so we will now continue to issue through the auctions’.

Belgium was ‘extremely well-advanced’, with almost 60% of its long-term issuance completed, he added.

Asked about the potential implications of interest rate cuts, Post said that the BDA had frontloaded some issuance this year in response to the market’s excessive anticipation of rate cuts by the end of 2023, as expectations were somewhat overdone.

‘For us, the anticipation of rate cuts meant that we saw very strong demand in the transactions that we did this year, with record order books in all of them. We had a total of €180 billion in orders for three syndicated transactions’, he said.

As to the Belgian retail programme, Post said that there was potential for more T-bill issuance to substitute for reduced State note issuance.

According to him, the Belgian government's decision not to apply the 15% withholding tax meant the interest from the Belgian retail investor dropped, especially compared to the billions the BDA saw last year.

‘This year if it will not be possible to issue a big amount in the retail product because of the tax treatment that in the end is not what we expected it to be, then so be it, we will increase the issuance of T-bills again’, Post said.

Post observed that the Belgian 10-year and 5-year deals had seen a lot of interest from central banks as well as from bank treasuries.

‘They are the other category of investors that have increased their share of transactions when the ECB has been stepping back compared to a couple years ago’, he said.