Australia to raise $67b in debt in 2013-2014

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia plans to raise a total of A$54 billion (S$67 billion) in debt securities in 2013/14, the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) said, a day after the Federal government delayed a long-promised return to budget surplus.

The national debt agency said it would sell around A$50 billion in Treasury bonds in the year to June 2014, an amount roughly in line with this fiscal year. Net issuance is expected to be A$27 billion.

So far this financial year, the AOFM has raised around A$43 billion in Treasury bonds and has two more issues to complete before the end of the year.

Issuance of indexed bonds will increase to around A$4 billion in 2013/14, from around A$2 billion this year, the AOFM said.

Australia is one of a few remaining countries still rated triple A with a stable outlook by major ratings agencies, thanks in part to a relatively low level of government debt.

In the annual budget released on Tuesday, the Federal government said it forecast a deficit of A$19 billion in 2012/13 or about 1.3 percent of GDP.

Net debt is expected to peak at A$192 billion or 11.1 percent of GDP in 2014/15, which is still far below debt levels of major advanced economies.