VIENNA Dec 14 Austria plans to hold its
borrowing steady next year and keep the amount of government
bonds issued at around two thirds of the total, the country's
Federal Financing Agency said on Wednesday.
The total amount of borrowing will be 30 billion euros to 33
billion euros ($32 billion to $35 billion), the same as its
latest prediction for this year, the agency said in its funding
outlook for 2017.
"It is really identical to the forecast for this year," the
head of the agency, Markus Stix, told Reuters by telephone.
The agency increased its forecast for this year in October
due to extra costs of up to 9.3 billion euros linked to a
settlement with creditors of "bad bank" Heta Asset Resolution
As a sweetener to that deal, Heta creditors had the option
of receiving a bond issued by the province of Carinthia and
guaranteed by Austria. They can sell those top-up bonds back to
Carinthia within a 180-day window that started on Dec. 1, with
Austria lending Carinthia the money to cover that buyback.
Because that window stretches into next year, Stix said he
could not give a more accurate prediction for borrowing in 2016.
The remaining buybacks are being funded as they occur, through
treasury bills and short-term loans, he said.
"We cannot say anything yet on the final amount (of
borrowing) for this year as we have buybacks every day," Stix
said, sticking to the October forecast of 30 billion to 33
He also declined to give any indication of the amount of
buybacks that have taken place so far.
The amount of government bonds issued in 2016 was, however,
clear, since the last auction has been held. The total for this
year is 22.9 billion euros, the outlook said, adding that next
year's total would be 20 billion to 22 billion euros.
The agency also plans to hold one or two syndicated debt
issues next year, Stix added.
($1 = 0.9384 euros)
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alison Williams)