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East Asia bond markets growth moderates in Q1, Singapore is largest Asean bond issuer in that quarter

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The local currency (LCY) bond market in emerging East Asia continued to expand in Q1 2015 to reach US$8.3 trillion at end-March, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.

THE local currency (LCY) bond market in emerging East Asia continued to expand in Q1 2015 to reach US$8.3 trillion at end-March, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.

Singapore was the largest issuer among Asean members in Q1 2015, it said.

Growth of emerging East Asia LCY bond market moderated quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q), it was only up 1.6 per cent compared with 2 per cent q-o-q growth in Q4 2014, the ADB said.

All markets recorded slower q-o-q growth in Q1 2015, except for Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.

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LCY bond issuance in emerging East Asia totalled US$924 billion in Q1 2015, down from US$1,032 in Q4 2014 but up from its level in Q1 2014.

Government bonds reached US$4,952 billion in Q1 2015, accounting for 59.9 per cent of total bond stock. The corporate bond market, with an outstanding US$3,320 billion at end-March, accounted for 40.1 per cent.

In Singapore, the LCY bond market totalled US$233 billion at end-March, posting marginal q-o-q growth of 0.1 per cent in Q1 2015 after contracting 0.7 per cent in Q4 2014. Growth was mainly driven by increases in the stock of Singapore Government Securities bills and bonds, and corporate bonds.

Meanwhile, the stock of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) bills slipped 4.2 per cent q-o-q.

LCY bond issuance in Singapore in Q1 2015 reached US$72 billion, the largest among all Asean markets, with 93 per cent of the total issued by the MAS.

Among the region's six Asean members - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - the combined total of LCY bond issues in Q1 2015 was US$169 billion, down from US$197 billion and US$206 billion in Q4 2014 and Q1 2014, respectively.

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