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Lithuania Holds Biggest Domestic Debt Auction for Seven Years

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania sold 225 million litai ($87 million) of one-year Treasury bills in the Baltic nation’s biggest domestic debt auction in more than seven years.

The Finance Ministry sold the notes, which mature on Feb. 19, 2014, at an average yield of 0.776 percent, the Nasdaq OMX exchange group’s Baltic unit reported on its website. The government last sold similar-maturity debt on Nov. 5, placing 100 million litai at an average rate of 0.628 percent.

“Demand at today’s auction was large and the yield that investors sought was generally reasonable, so the amount borrowed was also big,” Giedrius Sniukas, a spokesman at the ministry in Vilnius, said today by e-mail.

Lithuania plans to double the proportion of its borrowing from domestic debt this year as banks in the nation have a “large amount of cheap credit resources,” Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius said in an interview earlier this month. After January’s 400 million-euro tap of a 2018 bond, the country may stay out of the international market for the rest of this year, he said.

Today’s auction was the second-largest since Lithuania started selling litai-denominated debt in 1994, according to information on the Finance Ministry’s website. On Dec. 13, 2005 the government sold a nominal 230 million litai of 118-day bills. This year the amounts sold in weekly treasury auctions had been between 35 million litai and 100 million litai.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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