Ontario established a shiny new $2-billion (U.S.) benchmark bond issue on Wednesday. Watch for the province to tap this source of 10-year debt repeatedly as the year goes on.
Fresh off a deficit-heavy budget, Ontario came to market with a successful global offering, borrowing for 4.4 per cent. That rate is 52 basis points over the U.S. benchmark rate for 10 year bonds. The province's latest U.S.-dollar-denominated issue was led by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and RBC Dominion Securities.
The 10-year market is the most liquid pool of capital in global credit markets, and it's easy to imagine Ontario borrowing a total of $5-billion with this bond issue.
Ontario is expected to borrow $39.7-billion (Canadian) this year, according to research from Desjardins Securities, as it finances deficits and pays back maturing debt. In the past, the province has looked to foreign markets for half of its financing needs. Other provinces are taking much the same pragmatic approach: B.C. sold $96-million of 20-year debt denominated in Swiss francs last week.
Here's a quick cross-country look at provincial borrowing requirements for fiscal 2010 - 2011, courtesy of Desjardin's fixed income research team:
Ontario - $39.7-billion
Quebec - $9.4-billion
B.C. - $9-billion
Manitoba - $3.4
New Brunswick $2.3-billion
Nova Scotia - $2-billion
Alberta - $1.6-billon
Saskatchewan - $1.1-billion
Newfoundland - $0*
PEI - $0
*Newfoundland has prefunded its $959-million borrowing requirement for the year