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Expert suggests Lithuania borrow in Scandinavian currencies, Swiss franc, Japan’s yen

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Martino Olssono/wikimedia.org nuotr. / Swedish kronas
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania should consider a possibility to borrow in Scandinavian currencies, Swiss franc, or Japan’s yen and should compile the schedule for tapping debt markets paying due regard to the date of general elections, Simonas Eimaitis, head of emerging markets syndicate desk at UK bank HSBC, has said in an interview to the Verslo Žinios business daily.

It would be most reasonable for Lithuania, which has to redeem a 3.5 billion litas (EUR 1 b) bond in March 2013, to raise funds after parliamentary elections, he said.

“The investors buying Lithuania’s bonds will need time to get an opinion about the new government and the new government in its turn will need time to introduce itself to investors. Lithuania may try to borrow before the elections or immediately afterwards, but that is likely to cost more,” Eimaitis said.

He proposed to Lithuania to try out borrowing in Scandinavian currencies, Swiss franc, or Japan’s yen in the remaining part of this year.

“Scandinavia’s investors are perfectly acquainted with Lithuania; I think that the country meets the requirements of those investing in Swiss francs perfectly, too.
"Slightly more efforts would only be required with Japan’s yen. Lithuania could at least try placing small issues in these currencies, and not necessarily to a wide range of investors. Those would not be large issues hence they would not be that sensitive to political changes in the country. Thus Lithuania would create an alternative to borrowing in euros or US dollars. It would be extremely valuable if the euro or the US dollar markets closed down unexpectedly,” the expert said.

Eimaitis believes that Lithuania should improve the procedures used to prepare the documents required for borrowing abroad and should enhance the flexibility of operations used to hedge the funds raised against currency risks.

BNS
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