BOGOTA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Colombia completed its program of local debt sales sooner than usual this year, leading some analysts to speculate on Wednesday that the government may have room to pre-finance some of its 2015 spending or swap short-term debt for longer maturities.
The finance ministry issued local Treasury bonds, known as TES, that mature in September 2019, completing its programmed debt auctions of 19.3 trillion pesos ($10 billion) for 2014.
TES are the second biggest source of government financing after taxes.
“Today we completed the auctions established in the 2014 financing plan,” Michel Janna, head of the government’s public credit office, told Reuters. He declined to say whether the government would take advantage of the remaining months of the year to pre-finance the 2015 budget.
“There’s no news on that,” he said.
Still, the government in June raised the amount it planned to sell of local debt this year by almost 3 trillion pesos so it could pre-finance 2015 first quarter financing needs.
The monthly auctions usually run at least until November, leading analysts to wonder how the government will use the remainder of the year to manage its debt.
“That’s the discussion going forward, the possibility of pre-financing is open,” said Juan David Ballen, fixed income strategist at brokerage Casa de Bolsa.
For German Verdugo, head of strategy at Credicorp Capital, it is not a good time for the government to raise next year’s financing. Given there is uncertainty over how high the central bank could increase the benchmark lending rate, the market would charge the government a premium on yields.
“From the government’s financing point of view, it would be better to wait until next year and auction bigger amounts,” said Verdugo.
Other analysts said the government would likely opt for a swap given high levels of liquidity that would become available after 7 trillion pesos of TES comes due in September. Between now and November 2015, there are five TES bonds maturing.
“As there has already been pre-financing this year, it’s very probable that before year-end there will be a swap, because in 2015 there are some big amounts coming due and with that they get ahead of a challenging year,” said Camilo Perez, chief economist at Banco de Bogota, referring to likely U.S. interest rate increases. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra,; Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Bernard Orr)