* Italy aims to lengthen average debt life in 2013
* Treasury to tap retail investors again next year
* Global investors more interested in Italian debt
(Adds quotes from treasury's document, details)
By Francesca Landini
MILAN, Dec 21 Italy plans to sell two new issues
of its retail BTP Italia bond next year, a treasury borrowing
plan showed, after the bond's success last year helped pull the
country back from the brink of the euro debt crisis.
Analysts had expected the treasury to issue more retail debt
after it raised 27 billion euros ($36 billion) by selling the
BTP Italia bonds to individuals and households.
This paper is a four-year inflation-linked bond Italy
launched for the first time in March, when the treasury allowed
small investors to buy it directly via the Internet.
Rome indicated on Friday it could put a cap on the amount of
new issues, while this year it sold the full amount investors
had demanded for each tranche.
The structure and maturity of the BTP Italia, however, will
remain the same.
Looking beyond the domestic market, Rome hinted in its
borrowing plan at the possibility of issuing debt on global
markets after being held back this year by financial turbulence.
"Global investors recently sent signals they are more
interested (than in 2012 in Italian debt) at cheaper borrowing
conditions for the treasury. This set the basis for a likely
return of the treasury on these (global) markets," the treasury
said about launching debt denominated in foreign currencies.
The European Central Bank's pledge in early September to buy
bonds of vulnerable euro-zone countries reduced drastically the
risk of a euro break-up pending on Rome.
This brought some foreign investors back into the market and
enabled Italy, one of the world's biggest sovereign debtors, to
meet its borrowing target of 465 billion euros with falling
However, Italy could still face headwinds in the months
leading up to general elections, which are expected to be held
at the end of February.
LONGER AVERAGE LIFE
The Treasury's 2013 borrowing guidelines said it aims to
lengthen the average life of debt which fell to 6.49 years at
end-November from 6.99 at end-2011.
"Considering lower borrowing needs in 2013 and the strategy
to reach a longer average debt life, the treasury will likely
issue fewer bills in 2013 than it did in 2012."
Rome did not spell out its refunding needs for next year.
However, analysts expect it to have to borrow around 420 billion
euros, about 10 percent less than in 2012.
To raise average debt life towards 7 years, Rome will come
back on the longer segment of the BTP curve tapping existing
bonds, reopening issues it no longer sells on a regular basis or
even launching new issues.
"If market conditions are in place the treasury will use a
syndicate of banks," the treasury document said about issuing
new BTP bonds with maturities of 15 to 30 years.
Rome reopened a bond maturing in March 2026 at mid-month, in
the last auction to be settled in 2012. It was first issued more
than two years ago.
In addition, Rome announced it will come back to a monthly
issuance for its floating-rate CCTeu notes and that it plans to
do more debt buy-backs next year.
All new bonds with a maturity longer than one year will
include Collective Auction Clauses (CACs) in line with the
treaty to create a permanent euro-zone bailout fund, the
European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the treasury said.
($1 = 0.7555 euros)
(Editing by Jennifer Clark/ Ruth Pitchford)