Colombia conducts bond swap worth $2.9 bln, lowers 2015 issuance
BOGOTA Oct 1 (Reuters) - Colombia swapped local Treasury bonds worth 5.86 trillion pesos ($2.9 billion) in an operation that will allow it to reduce next year's domestic debt issuance by 2.6 trillion pesos, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.
The government swapped fixed-rate Treasury bonds, known as TES, that mature in October 2015 for paper that comes due in September 2019, July 2024 and August 2026. It exchanged fixed rate bonds due in October 2018 for similar bonds that mature in July 2020, the ministry said in a statement.
Inflation-linked bonds that mature in February 2015 were exchanged for paper that matures in May 2017, April 2019, March 2021 and February 2023.
The exchange for longer-term securities reduces average coupon payments and allows the government to lower its peso-denominated bond issuance next year to 31.9 trillion from its original plan to issue 34.5 trillion pesos of TES bonds, the statement said.
Demand for the swap reached 9.5 trillion pesos.
Finances have become a concern for the government in recent months after a decline this year in output of crude oil, the nation's biggest export, cut earnings from royalties that flow into the $370 billion economy.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas last week proposed shifting about $1.5 billion (3 trillion pesos) from the debt servicing and public administration portion of the 2015 budget to fund increased investment in infrastructure and social spending.
The Treasury department also by November will swap 1.5 trillion pesos of TES that come due in February 2015, October 2015 and October 2018. (Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Bernard Orr)
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