Sovereign bonds in developing countries: Drivers of issuance and spreads

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In the last decade there has been a new wave of sovereign bond issuances in Africa. What determines the ability of developing countries to issue bonds in international capital and what explains the spreads on these bonds? This paper examines these questions using a dataset that includes 105 developing countries during the period 1995–2014. We find that a country is more likely to issue a bond when, in comparison with non-issuing peers, it is larger in economic size, has higher per capita GDP, a lower public debt, and a more effective government. Spreads on sovereign bonds are lower for countries with strong external and fiscal positions, as well as robust economic growth and government effectiveness. We also find that primary spreads for the average Sub-Saharan African issuer are higher than in other regions. With regard to global factors, our results confirm the existing evidence that issuances are more likely during periods of global liquidity and high commodity prices, especially for Sub-Saharan African countries, and spreads are higher in periods of higher market volatility.




Presbitero, A. F., Ghura, D., Adedeji, O. S., & Njie, L. (2016). Sovereign bonds in developing countries: Drivers of issuance and spreads. Review of Development Finance, 6(1), 1–15.

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