Vancouver Sun

Canada kicks off U.S. dollar bond sale

- ESTEBAN DUARTE

Canada plans to sell bonds in the U.S. dollar market for the first time since the start of the pandemic as the North American country's vaccinatio­n campaign gradually gains pace amid a third wave of the virus.

The North American country plans to sell five-year bonds in the first benchmark-sized transactio­n in the currency since January 2020, Bloomberg data show. The bonds, which are expected to be priced Tuesday, are being marketed at around eight basis points over U.S. Treasuries, according to people familiar with the matter.

Canada's economy is expected to grow 6.1 per cent this year, up from a 5.4 per cent decline in 2020, according to analysts' consensus compiled by Bloomberg.

The survey sees the U.S. economy, Canada's largest trade and investment partner, expanding by 6.3 per cent in 2021 after a 3.5 per cent contractio­n in 2020.

Even as the economy recovers, Canada's jobs market hit a snag in April as a third wave of lockdowns and COVID -19 restrictio­ns led to job losses.

While Canada's vaccinatio­n campaign has more than doubled in the last month to over one-third of the population with a first dose, just around three per cent are fully vaccinated.

Canada's bond deal is also the first transactio­n in the U.S. dollar currency since Fitch Ratings downgraded it to its second highest investment-grade level, citing higher public debt ratios.

BMO Capital Markets, BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Scotiabank and TD Securities are the Bay Street firms arranging the deal.

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