The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Magdalena Polan, Udaibir Das, and Michael Papaioannou
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The recent round of debt relief has restored debt sustainability in many low-income countries (LICs). This, along with a continued search for yield and desire for portfolio diversification by investors, has increased the range of viable financing options, including international bonds, for many emerging market (EM) economies and LICs. This paper presents some of the advantages and disadvantages of international debut bonds, within a debt sustainability framework. It outlines key preconditions and discusses strategic considerations that countries need to take into account when contemplating bond issuance in international markets for the first time. In this context, the paper also discusses some typical pitfalls in accessing international capital markets, including excessive issue size relative to the intended use of bond proceeds, issuance of bullet bonds, and inadequate preparation for accessing the markets.