Serb Yields at 4-Month High Before New Finance Minister Is Named

Serbian government borrowing costs rose to the highest in four months before Prime Minister Ivica Dacic appoints a new finance minister and reveals the future policies for his revamped cabinet.

The government sold 3.42 billion dinars ($39.87 million) of three-year Treasury bonds of the 10 billion dinars being offered. Yields rose to 12 percent at an auction in Belgrade today, advancing 150 basis points since June 26 when the government also tapped the market with three-year debt, according to the Debt Management Agency’s e-mailed report. Bid yields ranged from 9.30 percent to 13 percent, it said.

“No one really wants to commit to such a distant time horizon because no one knows who will be the next finance minister and what his policies will be,” Ljiljana Grubic, an analyst with Raiffeisen Banka AD in Belgrade, said by phone.

Dacic’s Socialists together with the dominant Serbian Progressive Party of former nationalists led by Deputy Premier Aleksandar Vucic gave themselves an Aug. 26 deadline to complete a government shuffle that led to the ouster of Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic and his United Regions of Serbia on July 30. The Progressives agreed to continue to work with the Socialists, averting early elections.

Yields on the three-year debt rose to the highest since April 23, when the borrowing costs over three years bottomed out at 10.49 percent, the Debt Agency’s statistics show. Serbia plans to raise 27 billion dinars in four bond sales and 50 million euros in one placement of euro-denominated debt this month, according to the Debt Agency.

Vucic wants to hire former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn to advise the government on economic and financial policies and has been in talks with a McKinsey & Co consultant to take over the Finance Ministry.

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