Law lets UAE federal govt issue bonds
dubai — The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a new law allowing federal government to issue sovereign bonds, says a tweet by the Ministry of Finance.
This initiative will help the central bank manage liquidity in the market and better manage public debt.
Several of the seven emirates in the UAE already sell bonds in international markets.
Allowing the central government to issue sovereign bonds could benefit the federal bonds which would carry higher credit ratings.
Banks in the UAE will be able to buy government bonds in dirhams, or foreign currencies, giving them highly-rated assets with which they can manage their liquidity and obey global Basel III regulatory standards for banks, the ministry said.
The central bank will, meanwhile, use the bonds to help manage the interbank money market, while the bonds will support the creation of a secondary market in government debt. This will develop a UAE dirham yield curve serving as a reference for local companies to issue debt, the ministry added.
The long-awaited law, which was in preparation for several years, also provides for the central government to establish a Public Debt Management Office at the ministry.
The office will propose policies in coordination with the central bank, monitor risks linked to debt, set short- and long-term targets and advise the finance minister on investing any public debt surplus.
The office will also coordinate with local governments to support the issuance of public debt instruments in the individual emirates, and every local government issuing instruments will establish its own debt office.
The UAE has no urgent need to issue federal debt. Its consolidated fiscal deficit, including individual emirates as well as the federal government, is expected to remain stable at about 1.6 per cent of gross domestic product this year and turn to a surplus next year, the International Monetary Fund says.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.