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Opinion
Marcus Ashworth

Brussels Blows the Roof Off the Bond Market

The EU wanted to issue 17 billion euros of debt, and it got demand for 233 billion euros. The German bund has a serious rival.

Someone needs to pay for this.

Someone needs to pay for this.

Photo: picture alliance

The European Union, as part of its efforts to provide funding for pandemic recovery, has in one stroke made itself a major force in the euro bond markets. There’s a big new beast on the debt circuit.

The bloc wants to raise up to 100 billion euros ($118 billion) to help pay for job support programs in Europe. It could have raised that twice over on Tuesday. Instead, the European Commission issued 17 billion euros of new social-linked bonds — known as SURE — at 10- and 20-year maturities. Demand was incredible, topping 233 billion euros ($275 billion). That’s a record for any European bond, despite the negative yield on offer for the 10-year debt and the barely positive yield on the 20-year.