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Australia Sells A$3.25 Billion of Longest Debt in 3 Decades

Australia sold A$3.25 billion ($3.3 billion) of notes due in 16 1/2 years, the longest-maturity bonds on record in government data going back to 1982, matching its largest ever offering.

The 3.25 percent April 2029 security was placed via syndication and yielded 3.595 percent, according to an e-mailed statement from the Australian Office of Financial Management. Notes due April 2027 were previously the nation’s longest-dated debt.

Foreign investors seeking the world’s highest-yielding AAA rated sovereign debt hold a near-record 77.5 percent of Australian government bonds, government data show. The U.K. gilt due July 2052 offers the highest top-graded rates outside of Australian securities, at 3.24 percent. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s plan to end four years of budget deficits has also driven demand for federal debt. The benchmark 10-year note touched an all-time low of 2.698 percent in June.

The 10-year rate was at 3.08 percent as of 3:45 p.m. in Sydney, while the 15-year yield was 3.39 percent. The Australian dollar bought $1.0220.

The last time Australia extended its yield curve was in October 2011, when it sold A$3.25 billion in 15 1/2-year securities.

Australia has now sold A$16.25 billion of the A$35 billion in Treasury bonds it plans to offer in the 2012-2013 financial year, according to AOFM data.

After accounting for maturities of A$26 billion, net issuance for the current financial year is expected to be $9 billion, government data show. The net figure for 2011-12 was A$44 billion, with gross issuance of A$58 billion.

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