January 25, 2017 / 11:50 AM / 3 years ago

Bosnia region raises $14 mln via 3-year bond at lower yield

SARAJEVO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic raised 25.4 million Bosnian marka ($14 million) on Wednesday via an auction of three-year domestic bonds to help plug a budget gap in the absence of funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Bids for bonds, which carry a fixed annual coupon of 3.25 percent, totalled 60.8 million marka versus 25 million marka on offer, data from the Banja Luka Stock Exchange (BLSE) showed.

They sold at a weighted average yield of 2.74 percent, down from 4.22 percent at the previous sale of the three-year paper last February.

The Serb Republic is awaiting a loan instalment from the IMF, which last September approved a three-year extended loan arrangement for Bosnia worth 553.3 million euros ($595.02 million) to back the Balkan country’s economic reforms.

The IMF has already disbursed 79.2 million euros. But to access the next tranche of 80 million euros, Bosnia must pass a law raising excise taxes, and its other autonomous region, the Bosniak-Croat Federation, must adopt a new banking law.

The IMF disburses the loan payments to Bosnia’s central government in Sarajevo but the principal beneficiaries are the two autonomous regions. ($1 = 0.9299 euros) ($1 = 819 Bosnian marka) (Reporting by Maja Zuvela)

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