U.K. Bond-Auction Demand at Lowest Since at Least 2008: Chart

Demand for U.K. government bonds at regular auctions dropped this year to the lowest level since at least 2008/09, underscoring the complaints of primary dealers who say that tighter regulations make it increasingly hard for them to sell the securities. The average bid-to-cover ratio -- a gauge of demand relative to the amount of bonds allotted -- was 1.64 in the 2015/16 fiscal year, from 1.86 in the previous 12 months, according to data from Debt Management Office in London. The number of U.K. primary dealers has fallen by two to 19 in the last fiscal year, and market makers said at a meeting with officials from the DMO and Treasury in January that tighter regulations are making it increasingly difficult to sell gilts.

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