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Spain: Bonds

A special report prepared by Banque Indosuez.



The Spanish bond market, currently among the so-called European high-yielders, has developed at an amazing rate over the last six years. Spain still wore the "emerging market" label as late as 1988; the public debt markets did not offer any satisfactory liquidity in periods beyond three years when the withholding tax for non-residents was abolished in 1991. In the following three years, the Spanish bond market was able to offer a wide range of liquid instruments in all maturities from six months to 15 years and also developed a series of reliable hedging instruments (futures and derivatives).

The question remains whether this spectacular rate of development will survive the changing trends in the fixed-income markets if interest rates rise throughout Europe? There are strong reasons to believe that the fixed-income market rally of the last three years, which allowed such rapid developments, has enabled Spain to join the "modern markets" club.

The first signs of change came with the announcement in late 1990 that the withholding tax for non-residents would be abolished, as from the January 1 1991.