Australian state bonds are set for the worst quarter relative to sovereign debt since 2008 as record borrowing needs spur regional authorities to increase their share of debt sales compared with corporate offerings.
The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp. priced the biggest offering in Australia by a foreign issuer in more than a year as demand surged for top- rated bonds amid concern the U.S. and European debt crises will curb global economic growth.
Sales of bonds by top-rated overseas borrowers in Australia have evaporated following a record start to 2011 after the nation’s banking regulator ruled they don’t qualify under new international capital rules.
New Zealand’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged and said further increases will be slower than previously anticipated as the nation rebuilds from its worst earthquake in 80 years.
Australian state bond yields are trading at their highest levels since May 2009 relative to sovereign notes as investors shun all but the safest assets on concern Europe’s debt crisis will impair global economic growth.