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Egypt Yields Climb for First Time in a Month, Debt Goal Missed

Egypt missed its target 4.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($738 million) at a treasury-bill sale today as yields rose after the government sold a record amount of one-year notes last week.

The North African country auctioned 1 billion pounds of three-month securities and 2 billion pounds of nine-month notes, according to central bank data on Bloomberg. The average three-month yield jumped 55 basis points, or 0.55 of a percentage point, to 12.94 percent. The nine-month yield advanced 19 basis points to 13.55 percent.

The government sold 6 billion pounds of one-year bills on Sept. 27, the most in a single auction since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2006, as yields fell to the lowest levels in a year. Increased political stability and foreign aid pledges helped reduce the one-year yield to 13.59 percent.

“Today’s yield gains were purely related to supply and demand,” said Moustafa Assal, managing director of Bondlink Advisory, a Cairo-based financial advisory that trades government securities. “The market sensed the government’s need on Thursday and, starting today, put yields back on an uptrend. Interest rates weren’t meant to stay where they were in the past two weeks. The drop was totally illogical.”

The government is seeking to raise 150 billion pounds at local debt auctions this quarter after selling 169.3 billion pounds in the previous three months, excluding 513.3 million euros ($660 million) in one-year treasury bills. The budget deficit for the year that ends in June may exceed the government’s target of 7.6 percent of economic output, Finance Minister Momtaz el-Saieed said last month. The ratio reached 11 percent last fiscal year.

The yield on the nation’s 5.75 percent dollar bonds due in 2020 increased 30 basis points, or 0.3 of a percentage point, last week to 5.82 percent on Sept. 28. The pound, subject to a managed float, weakened 0.1 percent to 6.0989 a dollar.

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